Craven County opens drive-thru COVID-19 testing center

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – Doctors in Craven County are taking proactive measures to protect their workers against the coronavirus.

Coastal Carolina Health Care in New Bern is partnering with CarolinaEast Medical Center and Craven County Health Department.

Dr. Ken Wilkins at Coastal Carolina says they’re opening up an office at 1010 Medical Park Avenue for patients only showing symptoms of COVID-19. It will allow workers to meet other medical needs.

“We want our patients to be able to come to see us if they have other problems like diabetes or high​ blood pressure,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins says CarolinaEast Medical Center will do the same. Both centers are working with Craven County Health Department to offer drive-by testing beginning Friday, March 20.

The site will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and is located at 2818 Neuse Blvd, in New Bern until further notice.

Only patients who call their doctor first will be screened. If necessary, a referral to the testing site will be made by the primary care provider. No one should report to the testing site without a referral.

Testing will be done by appointment only. All patients must show photo identification at their testing appointment. To limit possible exposure, anyone that is coming for testing is discouraged from having healthy individuals in the car with them.

All patients who would like to be screened must be Craven County residents according to Wilkins. Only 12 slots will be available a day and patients who get tested at the county’s drive-thru will not be charged.

In order to be eligible for COVID-19 testing the following criteria must be met:

– Have fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) AND close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within the past 14 days

– Have fever AND lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) AND a negative rapid flu test.

Patients will first be given a rapid flu test to rule out the seasonal flu. If that rapid test is negative for seasonal flu, the provider will administer a COVID-19 test. Once an individual is tested for COVID-19 they will be asked to go into isolation at home until test results are returned.

County officials say if you have questions about testing or symptoms to call your primary health care provider.

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