In order to help combat the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the nation, Penn opened the first two drive-thru test sites for Philadelphians concerned they may have contracted the virus.
According to a statement from a Penn Medicine spokesperson, the two sites were opened March 16 on 41st and Market and in the Philadelphia suburb Radnor. The sites are part of a broader movement across the city to provide access to testing in order to slow the spread of the virus, which has been ramping up in recent days.
Penn Med stressed that patients are to have a doctor’s referral before they get tested to prevent disease transmission and to preserve the limited number of tests available.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, however, that a sign outside one of the sites specified that patients without a referral but who exhibited symptoms consistent with coronavirus — such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath — would be “assessed on a case-by-case basis.”
The sites allow patients to stay in their cars as healthcare professionals in protective gear approach them individually to complete a nasal swab. The resulting test then takes three to five days to complete.
Main Line Health and Jefferson Health also opened testing sites across the city on Tuesday.
The Penn Med spokesperson clarified that “no co-pays or deductibles will be charged for testing, and uninsured patients will be able to be tested for free.”
Penn’s sites will be open daily this week, given they do not run out of necessary supplies, the Inquirer reported.