COVID-19 Drive-Thru testing locations now open in Morgantown and Bridgeport

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU Medicine has established five points of collection for those needing to be tested for COVID-19.

In response to the outbreak that has infected over 4,400 in the United States and 184,000 people worldwide, WVU Medicine has setup five drive-through collection points across West Virginia in Morgantown, Parkersburg, Bridgeport, Wheeling, and Martinsburg.

“The goal would be to both direct people away from hospitals, and emergency rooms and clinics, where they could be potentially infectious to other patients, or people or healthcare workers,” explained WVU Medicine Vice President & Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Clay Marsh. “And make it convenient for people to drive up and drive through these testing centers that would be in convenient areas,” he said.

The testing, is being reserved for people who meet the screening criterion in accordance to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

According to Dr. Marsh, those who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are asked to call a physician to see if a tested is needed. If it is determined a test is necessary, the patient will be directed to one of the five testing locations.

“The idea would be that if your physician in consultation with our state and local health departments feel that this is warranted, then we would direct people to one of these five areas to be able to have the sample acquired,” said Marsh.

The test themselves, are being conducted by WVU Medicine with the support of Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp which will be processing the specimens collected at the locations and assisting state health officials on producing results of the test. Once collected, results are expected to return within one to three days depending on the location of the specimen’s shipment.

“So the idea is to batch the states, so within twenty-four hours,” Marsh said in describing the timeline. “The privates are committed to doing 24 hours as well, currently it’s about three days for private,” he said.

The establishing of the testing locations, comes less than 24 hours before Governor Jim Justice confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in West Virginia during an address Tuesday night.

West Virginia was the last state to have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 despite infection numbers rising in various parts of the country. Government and health officials have taken the approach that it has already arrived in West Virginia and are encouraging all hygenic and social distancing habits to help prevent the spread.

“And if we do that right, we will keep this virus, I am convinced, we will keep this virus from overwhelming us and we’ll protect our people and we’ll get through this in very great fashion.”