Coronavirus Testing Begins Locally With A Doctor’s Order

Starting March 17th, drive-up testing for coronavirus will be available in Dayton for people who have a doctor’s order to be tested, Premier Health announced on Monday.

Premier Health has partnered with the University of Dayton to set up a specimen collection site from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the UD Arena parking lot, 1801 Edwin C. Moses Blvd. in Dayton.“To ensure an orderly process, it is vitally important that those who have symptoms that are consistent with the COVID-19 virus first contact their family physician or primary care provider and work with their provider’s office to see if they meet certain criteria before they come to the collection site,” said Ben Sutherly, Premier system director of communications. “If you do not have a physician’s order, you will not be screened.”

Specimens will be collected and forwarded by ComputNet, in collaboration with Premier Health and Fidelity Urgent Care, to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory for testing. The tests are rapidly becoming more available as manufacturers ramp up production of the test for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. People can only be tested if a doctor has determined it is necessary, based on symptoms, contact with someone who has tested positive or because the person has traveled outside the country, said Melanie Amato, press secretary for the Ohio Department of Health.

“The first order of business on the testing is if you are not sick you don’t need a test,” said Dan Suffoletto, public information supervisor for Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. “People are not understanding that aspect of it.”

Healthcare workers in special protective gear take nasal swabs from the patient and then send it off to be tested in a lab, said Amato. She said people are asked to remain in self-isolation for 14 days while awaiting results, which can take 24 to 48 hours to be completed. Those who met criteria to be tested are asked to remain quarantined even if the results come back negative, she said, and the local health department will monitor them.