Drive-Thru Coronavirus Testing Available at Some Area Hospitals, but With Tight Restrictions

Tests can only be ordered by physicians, and those seeking tests must make an appointment to be tested

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Drive-thru coronavirus testing is being conducted at the University of Chicago Medical Center and other area facilities, but only under the strictest of precautions.

The program, which is only for patients and staff at the hospital, is just now getting going, but no one will be seen at the facility without a prior appointment.

Thursday morning, staff wearing face masks and traffic vests helped to direct patients arriving at the facility for drive-thru testing.

Upon entering, windows must remain rolled up at all times. Photo ID’s are required and must be placed on the dashboard of vehicles, and potential patients must be sitting near a window before testing can even begin.

Vice President Mike Pence says that more testing sites are coming online after a slow start to coronavirus testing in the U.S. Tens of thousands are being performed nationwide, but efforts are being made to steadily increase that number.

“If you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need the test,” he said. “We want to make sure that testing is available to people experiencing symptoms, or have a genuine concern about being exposed to someone with the coronavirus.”

 At Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, drive-thru testing has been set up in a parking lot across from the hospital. Approximately 10-to-15 patients are screened every hour, but like the University of Chicago, tests are available only by appointment.

All testing conducted at facilities across the state will be shared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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