Cape Cod Healthcare has set up a site at Cape Cod Community College for drive-through COVID-19 testing.
The testing site will be by appointment only after consulting with a primary care physician, according to hospital officials. It comes after a Sandwich couple tested positive for COVID-19, one of them a teacher at Barnstable Community Innovation School.
During a conference call, Michael Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare, said patients will be “triaged telephonically” and if their symptoms and contact with others correspond, they’ll get an appointment for testing. At risk patients, including the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions like diabetes and cancer, will be prioritized, Lauf said.
Lauf detailed how the system will work. Once a patient has an appointment, he will show up to the college site, be greeted by a worker who will check ID with the patient’s window rolled up. A healthcare worker will then swab the patient’s nose, put the sample in a tube, it will be frozen and sent to a lab for testing.
“We certainly understand the patient’s fears and we want to do everything we can to allay those fears,” Lauf said.
The site opens on Tuesday, but was tested on Monday, he said. The hospital has partnered with Barnstable County to offer the drive-through testing. Lauf said it’s a secure site to protect the patient’s privacy. “We have to make sure the safety and privacy of all the patients is adhered to,” he said noting the health privacy regulations.
Testing will be done seven days a week from 8 am to 6 pm by appointment only. No co-pays are being collected for the testing.
“If you don’t have a test scheduled, you’ll be turned away,” Lauf said.