LEWISBURG — The demand for COVID-19 testing was cited as the reason Evangelical Community Hospital reopened its test site.

The drive-through service will be available from 7 to 11 a.m. weekdays at St. Mary and North 15th streets, Lewisburg. As the situation concerning COVID-19 changes, consulting www.evanhospital/virus was recommended.

Angela Lahr, Evangelical vice president, clinical operations, said reopening was at the request of other hospital professionals.

“We were starting to see extended wait times at our Urgent Care and our Emergency Department,” Lahr said. “They had a number of patients that really didn’t meet the criteria to be seen in Urgent Care or the Emergency Department.

“They just needed them to be tested,” she observed. “So they could then either rule out that it was COVID and treat for other ailments such as a sinus infection. Obviously if it was COVID then start to treat them for that.”

Nearly 50 patients were tested on Monday, the first day the site was open. Tuesday and Wednesday saw 68 and 70 tests, respectively, during daily four-hour sessions.

Andrew Zechman, Evangelical test site operational lead, said adjustments were made after the site was closed in June.

“Generally we are here to help mitigate a potential spread and test anyone who needs to be tested,” Zechman said. “I think it is a nice service that we offer. Individuals are able to drive through the testing site and not get out of their vehicle.”

The test, a nasopharyngeal swab, may be bring momentary discomfort, but Zechman said it is the most accurate.

A doctor’s note ordering the test is preferred but not mandatory. Prior verification of insurance coverage is recommended for the test which otherwise costs $175 out of pocket.

Though specifics cannot be released, such as who among the people being tested has been vaccinated, data is collected for the state Department of Health.

Zechman added that a COVID test is prudent if a person is symptomatic, live or work in a congregant setting or are close to a person who may be vulnerable.

Staff writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at matt@standard-journal.com.

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