Lincoln's first attempt at a drive-thru coronavirus testing clinic seemed to go smoother than many others around the country.
Bryan Health began the clinic at 2 p.m. Tuesday at its LifePointe location south of 27th Street and Pine Lake Road. An hour into it, things were orderly, with about four or five cars waiting in the registration line, said Edgar Bumanis, director of public relations and marketing at Bryan Health.
After registration, cars pulled underneath large tents so that nurses in full protective gear could collect specimens for a battery of tests without the patients getting out of their vehicles.
Bumanis said Bryan tested 54 people in the drive-thru clinic Tuesday, which is about the number it estimated it could handle.
There were no hourlong waits or people being turned away, which has happened in other states.
"For something we've not had a lot of experience with, it's going very smoothly," Bumanis said midway through the four-hour testing window.
People getting a drive-thru test had to first go through a screening either with their doctor or through Bryan's ezVisit telehealth service, get an order for a test and schedule an appointment.
John Woodrich, CEO of Bryan Medical Center, said people going through the drive-thru clinic would first get a rapid influenza test and wait the 15 to 20 minutes to get results. If that test is negative, they have a swab taken for a full respiratory panel that tests for various viral and bacterial illnesses.
After that test is administered, people are sent home and told to self-isolate until they get the results, which take about 24 hours. If those results all come back negative, only then will the patient's sample be tested for COVID-19.
Those tests are sent off to a commercial lab and take two to four days for results, Woodrich said.
Bryan is planning to hold the testing clinic every day from 2 to 6 p.m. for the foreseeable future.
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