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Drive-Through Testing For COVID-19 Begins At UD Arena

Cars line up for drive-through COVID-19 tests at the University of Dayton Arena.
Leila Goldstein
Premier Health rolled out testing for COVID-19 this morning at the UD Arena parking lot.

The University of Dayton Arena was scheduled to host the First Four today, the start of the NCAA college basketball tournament. Instead, it’s the Dayton area’s first COVID-19 testing site.

After going through a registration process, a line of cars pulled up to two testing tents, the first to rule out the flu, and the other testing for COVID-19. Only those with a physician's order and a negative flu test result are permitted to get tested for COVID-19 at the site. 

The healthcare workers conducting the COVID-19 testing are protected with medical gowns, gloves, and N95 masks. Patients can expect to receive their results for the COVID-19 test in one to two days. 

Premier Health had initially planned to conduct the tests in a brick-and-mortar medical setting, but shifted to a drive-through testing approach because there is less risk of contracting the virus in open-air environments. Dr. Joseph Allen, a regional medical director at Premier Health, said the plans for the collection site came together in the last 72 hours. 

“As far as health care goes, you understand that you have to be agile and things are going to change quickly. But to change to this extent, this quickly, has been something that's really out of the norm for us,” he said. “But that's what we do in health care. We address these needs and give what's best for the patient.”

Dr. Allen said resources were limited across the board, including tests and supplies. Around 3,000 tests for COVID-19 were available today. He said Premier Health is working to replenish and reallocate supplies from across the hospital system, but it is difficult to determine when they will run low on supplies.

“We're all questioning, how long is this going to take? Where are we going to go with this? Is it going to be a week? Is it going to be three weeks? Is it going to be three months? We don't know that yet,” he said.

The testing site will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. If you are showing symptoms of the coronavirus, call your primary care doctor first as a physician's order is required to get tested at the COVID-19 collection site.

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.
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