Within a week of Pennsylvania schools and businesses closing in response to coronavirus, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health opened its first COVID-19 testing site.
The first location, a drive-through testing site at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, was selected for its size and centralized location in Lancaster County and convenience to major highways.
Within weeks, LG Health opened a second location outside Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster City for pedestrian traffic. Both sites can accommodate more than 200 people per day.
“Testing serves a vital role in addressing the COVID-19 crisis. In determining where and how to make testing available in our community, our first priority was keeping everyone safe — both those doing the testing and those who need to be tested,” explained Alice Yoder, RN, MSN, executive director of Community Health at LG Health.
“We picked locations that could be reached by people in rural areas, as well as city residents who don’t drive. We also needed to be prepared for a surge in testing needs and chose sites large enough to meet the demand,” she added.
Employees redeployed from their jobs at LG Health, or from the Community Health & Wellness department, staff both testing locations. Patients with COVID-19 symptoms are asked to contact their health care provider for an assessment and testing order before coming to a testing site. At the sites, patients are guided through a series of tented stations for pre-screening and testing. Masks are provided to anyone who needs one, and social distancing guidelines at Clipper Stadium protect the safety of walk-in visitors, with signage printed in both English and Spanish.
LG Health is also enhancing public safety by providing first responders, such as EMS, police and firefighters, with fast-track testing to keep these essential workers healthy and reduce the spread of coronavirus in our community.
Patients are notified of their results, and those who test positive receive additional follow-up calls and counseling by a team of LG Health nurses. 10,300 tests have been completed across the health system, including the two community testing sites, Urgent Care locations, and inpatient facilities, to date.*
“LG Health is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our patients, their families and our employees. We quickly responded to the need for expanded COVID-19 testing in our community, and we will continue to work closely with state and local health officials to monitor and respond to this evolving situation,” said Sean Reynolds, vice president, operations — Specialty Physician Services at LG Health and co-administrative leader of COVID-19 testing with Yoder.
*As of May 12, 2020