UW Medicine healthcare faculty, staff and trainees can now schedule a drive-thru test for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of a respiratory infection. This b-roll video shows the site at University of Washigton Medical Center-Northwest. Employees enter the open-air garage and pull up to the testing site.
They stay in their cars while a UW Medicine nurse performs two nasal swabs to collect a specimen for virology testing.
The employee then receives guidance on next steps, including how to isolate themselves at home if their results come back positive, or obtain medical treatment if they symptoms become worse. So far, there have not been any positive results for COVID-19 virus.
Dr. Seth Cohen, medical director of infection prevention and employee health at UWMC-Northwest, and clinical associate professor of medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said that the healthcare professionals providing the testing are thoroughly trained in the use personal protection equipment and in infection prevention best practices. They receive continuing education and training on these protocols to keep them safe. The safety of our staff is our utmost priority.
Unfortunately, no one knows yet how long the COVID epidemic will last, Cohen said. He added that we are preparing for the long haul in order to best support our community. It's important to point out that while the employees tested so far at the drive-through site have been negative for COVID, we are still seeing a fair amount of influenza in our clinic, he noted.