Health care systems across the Philadelphia region are now conducting coronavirus testing at local sites, and county health departments have joined the effort as well.
An initial wave of test results has dramatically driven up confirmed COVID-19 cases in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and more testing has proven how widespread the infections are. The region's first drive-thru testing was conducted two weeks ago by ChristianaCare in Wilmington, Delaware.
There are also county government sites expected to open in Philadelphia, Montgomery County and Camden County, New Jersey.
One of the region's largest expected sites is now up and running at the stadium complex in South Philadelphia. (UPDATE: It is closed Wednesday, March 25, because of the weather. It is expected to re-open Thursday.) Patients able to access it should be pre-screened and have a doctor's referral, like nearly every other site planned or already operating in the region.
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As Temple Health's spokesman said about their three testing sites: "All of these locations are for Temple patients who, after initial screening for COVID-19, are referred for further testing."
Here's a rundown by area health organizations and government agencies:
- University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine): Locations opened Monday, March 16, in West Philadelphia and Radnor for patients who have been referred to the drive-through testing from a primary-care physician. This is what the health system said in a statement: Penn Medicine patients who are concerned about possible symptoms of the virus should contact their healthcare providers, who will provide specific instructions. No co-pays or deductibles will be charged for testing, and uninsured patients will be able to be tested for free. For the safety of everyone involved and due to the high demand for tests, Penn Medicine urges all patients to register in advance through their physician’s office. A spokeswoman said Wednesday that the sites tested 410 patients during the first two days in operation.
- Main Line Health System: Locations opened Monday, March 16, in Newtown Square and Radnor. Patients need a physician to receive approval through Main Line's COVID Community Center, which was set up to determine how cases are treated. "The community center is essentially a conference room full of nurses and prevention experts" who determine how a patient should be treated, a Main Line spokeswoman said. The two locations can test up to 225 patients per day. Tests will take 3-5 days to return results. Main Line is sending its test kits to the Pennsylvania Department of Health state lab and Quest Diagnostics, a national private laboratory.
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (Jefferson Health): Numerous "mobile testing sites" opened March 18 in Center City, Abington, Northeast Philadelphia and New Jersey "to facilitate fast and effective drive-through COVID-19 testing for Jefferson patients with physician-ordered tests," a spokeswoman for the health system said Tuesday.
- Temple University Health System (Temple Health): Three sites, at Temple University Hospital's main campus in North Philadelphia as well as its Jeanes and Episcopal hospital campuses, opened March 19. Hours of operation will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patients will be tested after receiving a referral from a doctor.
- Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital: The Darby, Delaware County-based facility has opened a drive-thru test site for county residents who have received a doctor's referral and be part of the hospital's health care network, according to a county spokeswoman.
- Prospect Medical Holdings: The Los Angeles-based health organization, which operates Crozer Chester Medical Center, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Springfield Hospital and Taylor Hospital, is currently working on plans for opening testing sites, a Delaware County official said Wednesday.
- Philadelphia County: A pilot COVID-19 testing site for healthcare workers and first responders only will open at the Rite Aid store parking lot at 7401 Ogontz Avenue in Philadelphia on Monday, March 23. It will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but is only available to healthcare workers and first responders, regardless of presence of symptoms. Pre-registration is not required, only proof that you're a first responder or healthcare worker. One of the region's largest expected sites is now up and running at the stadium complex in South Philadelphia. (UPDATE: It is closed Wednesday, March 25, because of the weather. It is expected to re-open Thursday.)
- Camden County: The county health department said it had ordered 6,000 test kits from the federal government, and opened a testing site Monday, March 23. The site is in a parking lot at Camden County Community College.
- Montgomery County: First responders and certain citizens started getting tested Saturday, March 20 at Temple University's Ambler campus. NBC10's Deanna Durante explains the criteria for those allowed to get the testing first. Those who meet the criteria will need to register on the county's website.
- Cooper University Health Care: The Camden, New Jersey-based health care system does not yet have any sites publicly announced. A spokeswoman for the system said Wednesday that an announcement would be soon.
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP): The Philadelphia-based children's health system is testing suspected cases of COVID-19, according to Dr. Thomas Farley, the city health chief. An email sent for specifics about CHOP's testing was not immediately answered Tuesday.
- ChristianaCare Health System: The Delaware-based system set an early standard for the region's health providers by organizing a drive-through test site and testing 556 patients on Friday, March 13. The system does not have any more drive-thru testing planned, but announced Wednesday that it has "opened a Provider Referral Center in New Castle County to provide coronavirus COVID-19 testing for individuals who are symptomatic and have received a prescription for testing from their doctor." It is not a walk-in center.