Dr. Phillip Coule, vice president and chief medical officer of Augusta University Medical Center, and Mallary Myers, chief innovation officer at Augusta University Health, were there for the opening of a COVID-19 drive-thru testing clinic located at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Patients will be able to drive up and get tested for coronavirus between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. To be tested, patients must first complete a virtual screening.
“This is for people who have downloaded the app and done a screening online, a person who has been determined to be at high risk for COVID-19,” Coule said.
The AU Health Express Care app is a telehealth platform for Apple or Android devices. Patients can receive free virtual screenings there or at the AU Health COVID-19 Virtual Screening website.
“When they go into the app, it will allow them to fill in all of their information and answer key questions about their risk due to exposure to COVID-19 or their travel history as well as medical information that might put them at higher risk,” Coule said.
The patient will see a list of providers and the provider will come online and see them live on video to ask questions and clarify their risk. Talking face to face allows the provider to notice any possible clues as to the patient’s risk. If it is determined the person is at high risk, they can set an appointment to be tested.
“At the first station, the nurse will verify if they’re scheduled to come by,” Myers explained. “We will provide them education on COVID-19 and how to self-quarantine. They will then proceed on to the station where the test is actually performed. The swab will be taken and then they will be able to return home.”
Coule even drove up to the testing station to demonstrate how it’s done. He said the car provides isolation for the patients, while those administering the test wear protective clothing and masks.
Coule said AU Health is fortunate to have some of the world’s experts in this type of testing. A group of these experts began refocusing their efforts to look into COVID-19 testing.
Myers said this testing clinic will be open as long as the Augusta community needs it.
Coule added, “We put our patients first. That’s what we believe in, and we will take care of anyone.”
For the latest updates, visit the university’s designated COVID-19 resource page.