One of Augusta University Health’s two COVID-19 drive-thru specimen collection locations will relocate to downtown Augusta in an attempt to provide better access to testing for area residents and improved protections for caregivers.
Beginning Friday, July 17, the current drive-thru location at Christenberry Fieldhouse will relocate to the Augusta University Health Sciences Campus at Annex II at 524 15th St., the site of the former university vehicles services shop. Unlike most other drive-thru locations, which use temporary tents to house and protect personnel and supplies and are often subject to closure in severe weather conditions like wind and rain, the new location will accommodate up to six cars at one time in an enclosed space, making it one of the most unique testing sites in the area or state.
“As coronavirus infections and exposure continue to rise in our community, we want to ensure everyone has access to testing,” said Dr. Phillip Coule, vice president and chief medical officer for AU Health. “The new location will provide improved access for residents of both Richmond and Aiken counties, as well as our employees working on the Health Sciences and Summerville campuses, and will offer additional protection for our caregivers as weather conditions and heat become more of a concern, and decrease the likelihood of having to cancel or reschedule appointments due to weather.”
Coule said more testing is critical to slowing the spread of the virus in the Augusta community as local COVID-19 infections continue to rise. Over the past five weeks, the Augusta area reported a nearly 200 percent increase in infections in some areas of the community.
Patients wanting to be tested will need to make an appointment by calling the health system’s hotline at 706-721-1852. Results are usually provided within 24 hours.
Coule said the health system is also seeking additional testing options and locations for residents of Columbia County as it plans to discontinue testing operations at Patriots Park for similar reasons.
Testing is available by appointment from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 706-721-1852.