CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Six Greater Cincinnati hospital networks are now testing for coronavirus: UC Health, Mercy Health, TriHealth, St. Elizabeth, Cincinnati Children’s and the Cincinnati VA.
The Christ Hospital network will eventually have two testing locations and had a Mason location administering test, but they have closed because they ran out of tests.
Here’s how you can get tested, according to spokespersons from each hospital network:
The clinic is located under two tents outside the front entrance of the West Professional Building at 3120 Burnet Avenue in Clifton.
Spokesperson: “Due to high demand and the need to prioritize available testing supplies for the most urgent and critical needs, the amount of appointments available for our drive-thru COVID-19 testing will fluctuate each day. UC Health patients with non-emergent symptoms should stay at home and call their primary care physician for further information and direction. Be advised that your primary care physician and our clinical staff answering our central phone line may or may not recommend testing based on the number of available supplies and the prioritization of those with the most severe health challenges.”
Spokesperson: "I can’t say how many kits we have because we continue to receive more kits. I can say we currently have plenty of kits to test individuals who have been screened and determined to need a test. You do know that not everyone is getting a swab test, just those whose screening indicates they have symptoms consistent with the virus. At our six emergency rooms, where we have set up screening and testing areas segregated from other patients, it has not been overly busy yet. Our six emergency rooms located at Good Samaritan, Bethesda North, Bethesda Butler and McCullough-Hyde hospitals and the Arrow Springs (Lebanon) and Western Ridge ambulatory centers.”
St. Elizabeth will begin installing mobile health units in trailers at its emergency departments this weekend. Testing is available following the hospital’s protocol.
Spokesperson: "Our testing protocol continues to be: call physician office, office calls centralized line to determine testing eligibility, individuals approved are given further instructions.
"Testing capacity is not as limited by lab capacity (both at state, which is limited, and private labs such as Labcorp) but by the availability of swabs and media to transport the swabs (the collection devices); these supplies had already been depleted by a significant flu season. State testing now has an approximate 24-48 hour turnaround time; Labcorp has an approximate 3-5 day turnaround time.
"We have ordered a lab device to process our own tests but the expected delivery date has shifted and we will need 2-3 weeks set-up and validation time once it arrives.
“We are expecting an allocation of additional testing supplies from the federal stockpile later this week, but do not yet know what those supplies consist of.”
Mercy Health will be setting up designated flu clinics at four of its Greater Cincinnati locations. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, which may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or body aches, you should not go to your primary care provider. Instead, call your primary care provider or visit a flu clinics.
Spokesperson: “If you have coronavirus-related questions, are showing possible symptoms, or may have had an exposure to someone diagnosed with a positive case of COVID-19, call 888-700-9011 to be guided on next steps. This line is for non-emergent calls. The public is encouraged to call 911 for emergencies.
"To ensure the continued health and safety of patients and associates, Mercy Health regularly monitors current supplies and began planning early. We have plans in place to support our needs and remain committed to the appropriate and responsible use of supplies and equipment, at this time and always.
“This applies to COVID-19 tests, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ventilators and other resources. We are resourcing from around the globe and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on appropriate usage. In addition, we are working collaboratively with other health care and government agencies through this unprecedented event.”
Spokesperson: “We are working with authorities to obtain an ongoing supply of COVID-19 tests and will continue to test both patients and staff based on the resources available to us. Currently, we have a small number of test kits available and are reserving those for the sickest of patients. We also will be thoughtfully testing a number of staff who may have had potential exposures so we can continue to provide the best care possible for our patients.”
The Cincinnati VA has set up a tent and mobile units on VA property to prepare for any potential influx of infectious patients.
Spokesperson: "The Cincinnati VA Medical Center continues to take proactive steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19. As part of this process the Cincinnati VA continues to conduct 100 percent mandatory screenings for everyone who enters all Cincinnati VA facilities.
"To date, the Cincinnati VA Medical Center has not encountered anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The facility is following CDC guidelines for intake precautions.
“The Cincinnati VA wishes to thank our Military Partners, an Army Reserve Unit (the 478th Engineering Battalion from Ft. Thomas, KY) for providing manpower to construct the tent.”