Drive thru testing for coronavirus begins in San Angelo

Coronavirus in San : Drive thru testing begins; site opens to public Monday

Colin Murphey
San Angelo Standard-Times
Published 6:43 PM EDT Mar 20, 2020

SAN ANGELO — Drive thru coronavirus testing for patients screened by a medical provider and recommended for further testing began Thursday in San Angelo at Shannon Medical Center.

The drive thru site is an effort by Shannon to make testing and screening more accessible amidst a growing international public health crisis, said Lyndy Stone, Shannon Medical Center director of marketing.

Personnel with Shannon Medical Center run through a drill before opening a drive thru coronavirus testing site Friday, March 20, 2020.
Colin Murphey / San Angelo Standard-Times

“Shannon wanted to provide an easier resource for patients,” Stone said. “This was established so we can make testing more efficient for patients and reduce exposure for potential patients within our buildings and keep safety as the highest priority for our patients and our staff.”

More: San Angelo hospitals restrict visits due to coronavirus concerns, here are the details

As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, the city of San Angelo reported there were no confirmed cases in San Angelo and that 108 tests had been performed. Of those, 16 were returned as negative for coronavirus and 92 remained pending.  

The testing site is the first of its kind in San Angelo in response to the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the U.S. The testing site, located in a parking lot at the intersection of E. Beauregard Ave. and S. Oakes St., is only for patients previously screened and on Friday was not open to anyone without a physician identified need to be tested for coronavirus. 

Starting Monday, March 23, the site will open to the public for screening, and if a medical professional believes testing is warranted that will be done on site. Patients screen at another location also may visit the drive-thru site with a provider’s order.

The cost is $25 for the screening and $55 for a COVID-19 test if required. Shannon will bill the patient’s medical insurance. 

Jose Losoya, left, and Chelsea Stroud, run through a drill before opening the drive thru coronavirus testing site at Shannon Medical Center on Friday, March 20, 2020. Losoya was playing the role of a patient for purposes of the drill and had not been identified as a patient requiring further testing for coronavirus.
Colin Murphey / San Angelo Standard-Times

“This is an evolving process,” Stone said. “Monday we will open it up to screening and testing. So we will have a medical professional on the site to screen people and, according to the criteria if they think that person needs a test, we can also test them at the site.

The hours for the testing site will be 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The test involves a nasal swab and then a recommendation that the patient self-quarantine until notified by their medical provider about the results of the test. Results can take up to seven days, officials said. 

The drive thru coronavirus testing site, seen here in this Friday, March 20, 2020 photo, was opened by Shannon Medical Center on Thursday to test patients already screened by a physician and recommended for coronavirus testing.
Colin Murphey / San Angelo Standard-Times

In addition to expanding the site’s services to screening for coronavirus, there are plans to open a second site, Stone said.

“We are hoping to provide a second screening and testing location sometime next week,” Stone said.

Colin Murphey is a photojournalist covering all things in West Texas for the San Angelo Standard-Times. Send him a news tip at CMurphey@gannett.com. Consider supporting West Texas journalism with a subscription to GoSanAngelo.com.

This content was originally published here.