Cleveland Hospitals Plan Drive-Thru Coronavirus Testing Centers

Medical staff wearing protective suits take samples from a driver with symptoms of the coronavirus at a "drive-through" virus test facility in Goyang, South Korea, Sunday, March 1, 2020. [Ahn Young-joon / AP]
Medical staff wearing protective suits take samples from a driver with symptoms of the coronavirus at a drive-thru virus test facility in Goyang, South Korea, Sunday, March 1, 2020. [Ahn Young-joon / AP]

Local hospital officials are working with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) to ramp up testing so that confirmed COVID-19 cases can be identified at a quicker pace.

Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals are working together to create a drive-thru testing center for suspected coronavirus cases. 

MetroHealth and CCBH are also in conversation about setting up a similar drive-thru site on the westside of Cleveland said MetroHealth spokesperson Mike Tobin. 

Hospital officials are looking for the best site and working out logistics of who would staff it, said Cleveland Clinic CEO Tom Mihaljevic at a news conference on Thursday.

Clinic officials said an offsite testing center would prevent hospital patients and staff from possible exposure to the virus.

Patients would be screened and tested at the drive-thru site, similar to what is already happening in some other cities like New Rochelle, NY and in countries like South Korea. 

Cleveland Clinic can now also test for the coronavirus without sending specimens to an outside lab.

Clinic officials announced Thursday they will be able to get tests results in hours, instead of waiting days. 

CCBH also announced Friday that the three people who tested positive for coronavirus in Cuyahoga County had close contact with at least 56 other people.

County officials have been tracing the steps of the woman and two men who were diagnosed with the virus on Monday.

Those 56 people who had close contact have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, said CCBH spokesperson Kevin Brennen.

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