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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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May 27, 2020

3/28/2020 7:29:00 AM
Ascension Medical Group launches drive-through COVID-19 testing
Patients must be pre-screened by an Ascension Wisconsin provider before visiting testing site

Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin has launched its next wave of drive-through testing locations for COVID-19. As of Thursday, March 26, drive-through testing sites are available in Rhinelander, Crandon and Plover. Additional sites are currently in development, according to an Ascension press release.

Individuals who wish to be tested at drive-through locations must first be pre-screened by an Ascension Medical Group provider by appointment, phone, or virtually using Ascension Online Care, the release states.

Those interested in this option for testing should contact their physician office.

This screening involves a series of questions about symptoms, travel history and any potential contact with COVID-19 patients. Patients who meet the criteria, which is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, will schedule an appointment for drive-through testing at the appropriate site.

The initial drive-through testing sites in operation in central and northern Wisconsin are:

Ascension St. Michael's - Plover, 2401 Plover Road, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., participants who have been screened and scheduled for drive-through testing should use entrance B in Plover.

Ascension St. Mary's - Kabel Avenue, Rhinelander, 1044 Kabel Avenue. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ascension St. Mary's - Crandon, 400 West Glen Street, Crandon. Hours: 9 a.m. to noon

All of these drive-through testing locations will be in operation Monday through Friday.

At the testing site, patients will remain in their vehicle at all times. An Ascension associate will look up the patient's information in the electronic health record to confirm that they have been screened and require testing. Insurance information will be collected for follow-up purposes, if it's not already entered into the electronic health record. An Ascension associate will confirm that the patient has an established Ascension provider. There is no upfront charge for the testing.

A throat culture and nasal swab samples will be collected and sent to a state-approved laboratory for analysis. Patients will be provided this information at the time of testing. The specimens collected at Ascension Wisconsin's mobile testing sites are currently being sent to Quest and LabCorp. In-house labs at Ascension Wisconsin facilities are in development. This additional testing capacity will allow COVID-19 testing for a wider group of patients.Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin will contact patients with results and positive results will be alerted to the Wisconsin Department of Health.

"We continue to collaborate closely with local and state health officials to ensure that community members experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested for the virus, while limiting exposure to keep the health and safety of our patients, associates and visitors a top priority," said Dr. Stewart Watson, Clinical Vice President of Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin's North Region.

According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus. Symptoms seen with the infection with COVID-19 are not specific, with cold-like symptoms in mild cases. Symptoms could include a fever, along with cough and shortness of breath. If someone is elderly or has other medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes or cancer, they may get sicker from the virus and develop pneumonia or other lung problems. For more information, visit cdc.gov.

There also is an Ascension COVID19 Hotline set up for those who have questions about COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, or those who want to receive a text message to schedule an Ascension Online Care appointment with a provider. The toll-free number for Wisconsin is 1-833-981-0711.





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