Drive-thru coronavirus testing site to open in Southbury
SOUTHBURY — Coronavirus drive-thru testing is coming to Southbury.
In order to beef up testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in the Southbury area, PhysicianOne Urgent Care Center on Main Street South will conduct drive-thru testing in its driveway by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The setup is the result of the effort of Tim Spagnola, director of talent acquisition at PhysicianOne, who reached out to local officials to organize the event. He and other PhysicianOne officials met with Pomperaug District Department of Health Director Neal Lustig on April 3 and again on Monday to get the support of PDDH.
“They (PhysicianOne officials) came to me last Friday and said they would like to do this with our assistance,” Lustig said. “PhysicianOne is in Southbury, they’ve been here for 16 years and they’re licensed to do testing. This is a good opportunity to open up testing to all our citizens.
“On Monday we set the wheels in motion to get this done and worked on getting the word out. ... National health officials have urged expanding COVID-19 testing this past week, and Southbury is falling in line with that by doing our own drive-thru testing.”
The testing is open to residents of the three towns covered by the Pomperaug District Department of Health — Southbury, Oxford and Woodbury — and anyone else in area municipalities. As of April 9, Southbury had 36 cases of coronavirus, while Woodbury and Oxford had 10 and 25 cases, respectively.
However, there’s a process to go through to get a test.
First responders and health providers will have priority, and appointments are required for all tests.
Appointments can be approved following a medical evaluation through a telehealth visit with a PhysicianOne Urgent Care staff member, who will check for coronavirus symptoms. Participants must be approved by a PhysicianOne staff member, but being part of the PhysicianOne Urgent Care network is not a requirement.
While individual testing has been done inside the PhysicianOne facility, Spagnola said the drive-thru event will allow for a greater number of tests in one day. PhysicianOne will be able to do as many as 200 tests in the six-hour timeslot.
“What the drive-thru amounts to is a larger bulk testing opportunity,” Spagnola said. “We have 24 centers in total and we tried our first drive-thru testing at a center in Medford, Mass., last Saturday. I thought to myself, with the success we had with that event, we should reach out to the Connecticut community and do drive-thru testing here.
Spagnola said PhysicianOne will be conducting additional testing at its centers in Manchester on April 18 and Groton on April 19.
Lustig said completed tests will be sent to a Quest lab, with results expected in two to three days.
To set up an evaluation for coronavirus testing, visit www.solvhealth.com/book-online/ABXrkg.
For more information, visit physicianoneurgentcare.com/find-us/locations/ct/southbury-urgent-care
“After the testing on Saturday, we’ll evaluate how it went to see if we do another one in Southbury in the future,” Spagnola said.