Area hospitals offer mobile screening for COVID19, not Bradley

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Bristol Hospital workers greet customers at one of the two specimen collection stations for COVID-19 in the parking lot near Queen Street. The hospital began accepting specimens last Friday for coronavirus testing that has been prescribed by a doctor. Testing will be done off-site.

Hartford Healthcare announced on Monday that several Connecticut hospitals will be providing screenings for the coronavirus. While there are no screening locations within the town of Southington, there are options in neighboring towns.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic quickly evolving with an increase in cases in Connecticut, Hartford HealthCare is opening drive-through testing centers at several locations throughout the state allowing patients with symptoms and possible exposure to be tested without leaving their vehicles,” HHC officials in a press release.

Testing will be offered through referral from a provider through Hartford HealthCare Medical Group or an order through a virtual health visit done by a physician at the HHC’s clinical command center by calling (860) 972-8100.

MidState Medical Center, at 435 Lewis Ave., Meriden, will be offering screenings starting March 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

In addition, Waterbury Hospital and Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury will be offering similar mobile screenings to patients who receive referrals from their health care providers.

As of last Friday, Bristol Health in Bristol is also providing outdoor specimen collection stations in the Queen Street parking lot of Bristol Hospital. The city and hospital officials said the testing is strictly for those who have received a written note from their primary care physician to get tested. Patients should also have their identification on hand.

“I feel very prepared to handle thus coronavirus,” said Bristol Health nurse Chris Ann Meaney. “Our team is calm. They’re ready to take care of the patients that need the service we’re going to offer.”

Nurse Megan DeFazio said the staff have been focusing on urging handwashing, respiratory etiquette and staying home if sick.

Bristol health is not testing for coronavirus. They are providing nasal swabs to those who show up with a doctor’s note, then sending the swabs out for testing. Samples will be sent out daily at 3 p.m. and will take about a week to come back.

The station at Bristol Health will operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. Bristol Health has also set up a hotline at (860) 261-6855. The hotline consists of recorded messages providing the most up to date information, visitor restrictions, and testing center operations for Bristol Health. Additional questions should be directed to 2-1-1 to speak with a live operator.

Hartford HealthCare also has a hotline at (860) 972-8100. Get text alerts by texting 31996 with COVID19 in the message field. The general public is urged to call their healthcare providers for guidance if they feel they may be sick rather than going directly to a doctor in person, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.

Jamila Young contributed to this article. To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at News@SouthingtonObserver.com.