WhidbeyHealth opens drive-through COVID-19 testing site

— Created March 18, 2020 by Kathy Reed

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Island County – 11 cases confirmed as of press time Tuesday – WhidbeyHealth announced it has opened a drive-through site to collect specimens for Coronavirus, COVID-19 testing. The location opened at 8 a.m. Monday. Patients can call to determine whether they meet criteria to be sampled for Coronavirus, COVID-19. Patients who meet criteria will then be registered for drive-through testing at the WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, located at 101 North Main Street in Coupeville.

 “As the Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic expands around the world, WhidbeyHealth is committed to the global containment effort while assuring the safety of our patients and staff” said WhidbeyHealth CEO Ron Telles. “Sampling patients without getting out of the car is one way to expedite the process while reducing risk to patients, staff and others who may have compromised immune systems.”

Patients who wish to be tested must first register by calling the WhidbeyHealth Coronavirus Hotline at 360-240-4055 to speak with a nurse from the medical center and get further instructions. At the drive-up facility, the medical team will take a sample nasal swab which will then be sent to one of the approved off-island testing laboratories. Due to the shortage of sampling supplies at WhidbeyHealth and across the state, WhidbeyHealth will be sampling only those who meet specific criteria. Results are expected to be available within 7-10 days.

Registration is an essential and required part of the sampling process.

“This innovative approach to collecting samples has been introduced successfully in other U.S. cities,” Telles said. “Coronavirus, COVID-19 is a dynamic, rapidly changing situation for everyone involved. Our ability to provide this service depends on supply limitations which are now experienced by hospitals nationwide. We appreciate the community’s support as the WhidbeyHealth team meets these challenges and continues to provide exceptional care to our community.”

Stay informed at:
 • Island County Public Health: islandcountywa.gov/Health
• Washington State Department of Health: doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
• Centers for Disease control: cdc.gov/
• WhidbeyHealth online: facebook.com/WhidbeyHealth/