WHEELING — Wheeling Hospital on Wednesday is opening its off-site symptomatic Testing Center for COVID-19. The regional center will handle patients from all of the area’s hospitals in the WVU Medicine System including Harrison Community, Reynolds Memorial, Barnesville and Wetzel Community.
The drive-through swab tests will be conducted in emergency medical tents set up in the Wheeling Park parking lot, near the pool. Nurses and lab personnel from Wheeling Hospital will be on-site, assisted by staff from Barnesville and Reynolds Memorial hospitals.
The testing is not for the general public. It is for at-risk patients who have a valid order from a physician.
In order to be tested, those interested may use the hospital’s COVID-19 one-call number at 304-221-3995. Nurse navigators will triage the patient over the phone. If it is determined through the call that the patient is symptomatic, that person’s name will be sent to the Testing Center and the order entered into the computer list.
Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, cough, and travel to an endemic area or contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Patients may elect to call their primary care physicians. Wheeling Hospital-employed physicians will follow the triage protocol then decide whether to send the patients to the Testing Center, where the order will be placed. Patients of independent physicians of those from other hospitals will be directed to the one-call number.
At the test site entrance, ID will be requested to verify that the patient’s testing order has been entered. After a consent form is signed they then will be tested for Influenza A and B, as well as strep throat. If the results are positive, that person will be directed to return home and call their primary care provider for further instructions.
If the results are negative, the patient then will be tested for COVID-19. The tests will be sent to Quest Diagnostics, a private testing firm, and the results will go to the person’s primary care provider. Until results are received by the physician, the patient will be instructed to return home to self-quarantine for 14 days. If the results come back negative, the self-quarantine will be lifted. If positive, treatment will be determined by the physician.
The testing site will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Also providing assistance will be the Wheeling-Ohio Health Department, Wheeling Police and Fire departments, as well as the Ohio County Emergency Management Agency.