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Lee Health opens mobile coronavirus test site

By Staff | Mar 17, 2020

Lee Health

Lee Health has opened a mobile collection site to test for coronavirus, or COVID-19, to help increase access for the number of tests for local residents.

The mobile site is located in the parking lot of the Lee Convenient Care office at Page Field and will be open seven days a week from noon to 4 p.m.

Patients must have an order for their physician or provider and make an appointment before showing up to the collection site.

“Our Lee Physician Group operations team pivoted quickly to make this a reality when the idea was brought up,” said Jonathon Little, spokesperson for Lee Health. “When the state OK’d the use of commercial labs to test specimens, it gave us the ability to put those plans into action to meet the needs of our community.”

Initially the site will have the capacity to collect up to 32 samples per day to be tested off-site. Lee Health said it has plans in place to expand the hours and open additional collection sites locally due to demand.

“There are plans to extend the hours and open additional locations, including in Cape Coral, as soon as this week if the needs of the community necessitate doing so,” Little said.

Lee Health will send the specimens to a lab for testing, which takes 3-4 days to process and return. The collection site is for collection of COVID-19 samples only.

“Increasing the number of individuals being tested is a priority for Lee Health to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in our community,” said Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA, Lee Health president & CEO, in a release. “This is a key juncture point in managing this disease and Lee Health is doing everything we can to protect the community.”

Lee Health officials reiterate that you must have an appointment scheduled by your physician or provider to be eligible to have a sample collected at the mobile site.

“Public safety officers are directing traffic, and a patient must confirm with them their test order and appointment before being let through the line,” Little said.

Officials said a patient’s physician or provider will determine if the patient meets testing criteria and if they should be tested. If you physician deems you should be tested, an appointment will be made through your provider.

President Trump, on Friday, announced that major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, CVS and others are working towards setting up similar collection sites in their parking lots.

When asked if Lee Health was currently talking to any of the aforementioned businesses locally, Little said, “We are exploring all potential options to meet the needs of our community.”

Florida Sen. Rick Scott said he hopes this mobile site can be an example of what other communities around the state can do to increase testing

“Thanks to Lee Health for limiting exposure and working to get more people tested,” Scott said in a Tweet on Friday. “This model can be replicated across the state of Florida to immediately expand testing and keep health care professionals safe.”

Patients who are experiencing symptoms and don’t have a test order should call their primary care physician.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj