March 17, 2020
The University of Pennsylvania will opened Philadelphia's first drive-thru coronavirus testing site on Monday, with others to follow as kits become available, said city health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.
Penn will operate two of these sites on a limited basis, providing COVID-19 tests in West Philadelphia and in Radnor, Delaware County.
The drive-thru sites in West Philadelphia will be open only to those who have been directly referred by a physician, Farley said. Tests will not be available to those who show up without express direction from a health care provider.
A spokesperson for Penn Medicine provided the following statement to PhillyVoice about both locations:
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.
The addresses of the drive-thru locations will be provided to patients during the registration process, the spokesperson said.
Philadelphia health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced several additional sites on Tuesday that will operate using protocols similar to Penn's facility.
Temple University now has one site on its main campus. Jefferson has two sites, one in Center City and one in Abington. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has a site near its West Philadelphia campus.
Those who have symptoms and wish to be tested at any of these sites are advised to contact their physician for a referral to the site with which they are affiliated, when applicable. A patient of a Jefferson doctor, for example, should inquire about testing at a Jefferson site. This is intended to speed up the testing registration process.
All testing will be done at no cost to the patient, Farley said. More testing locations are expected to follow.
As cities and towns across the country brace for growing numbers of COVID-19 cases, testing capacity has become an urgent concern to the public.
The availability of testing has become a particular point of contention in the United States as clinical labs struggle to meet stringent federal guidelines and obtain required supplies.
Further information on testing availability and access in Philadelphia will be provided here as details become available.