Cincinnati Health Collaborative Issues Guidelines for COVID-19 Testing Sites

You won't be tested without a doctor's referral

Mar 19, 2020 at 9:40 am
click to enlarge Cincinnati Health Collaborative Issues Guidelines for COVID-19 Testing Sites
Photo: Drew Hays

The Health Collaborative — a collective health care group featuring board members from Bon Secours Mercy Health, UC Health, TriHealth, Christ Hospital and Cincinnati Children's Hospital, among others — are hoping to make sure the area's medical systems have enough capacity to handle those who may get the sickest from COVID-19. 

They have issued a release with guidelines to access coronavirus testing sites for those who think they have been exposed to the virus or are exhibiting symptoms. The goal is to "keep patients and residents" in the region safe, as well as protect the current health care workforce.

"This is imperative so our hospitals are not over capacity and our most vulnerable patients can be treated first," says the release. "Many individuals with mild symptoms will not need to be tested and will be instructed to stay home and self-quarantine."

They offer these three guidelines for those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and think they may have been exposed to the virus:

  1. Don't go to the emergency room for a test.
  2. Contact your primary care physician. If you don't have one, call the nearest urgent care,
  3. If you qualify for testing, the doctor will give you more instructions.

The Health Collaborative makes it very clear, "You will NOT be tested without a Doctor’s referral. Appointments are required for all COVID-19 tests. For additional information, please contact your Primary Care Doctor or closest urgent care center. Again, do not arrive to a hospital without a Doctor’s referral for testing."

A drive-thru testing site has opened at UC HealthScreenings/tests will be done by appointment only in tents outside of the front entrance of the West Professional Building at 3120 Burnet Ave., Clifton.

A drive-thru testing site at The Christ Hospital in Mount Auburn was delayed until more testing materials are available. It was slated to open Thursday (March 18).

"The site is set up and ready to see patients once an appropriate amount of testing materials can be secured to ensure smooth operations in the coming weeks," says a release from the hospital. "We'll let you know as soon as the site is ready to open."

Christ also operates a drive-thru testing site in Mason, which also requires an appointment.

The Health Collaborative also issued a series of preventative measures the public can continue to take: social distancing, washing your hands for 20 seconds, covering your mouth if you cough or sneeze with your elbow or upper arm, staying at home if you feel sick.