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Drive-thru testing questions explained

When a person enters the sampling line, they register at one tent, and enter into what’s called a hot zone to get tested with a nasal swab.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Drive-thru testing can now be seen at many major hospitals across the state, but it has been unclear what’s exactly needed before getting in your car and hitting the road.

FOX61 visited various healthcare groups across the region and they all say the same thing, you need two things, a doctor’s order and an appointment.

Joanne Boucher with the UCONN Health Center said, “It’s a whole ‘nother level of prep, a whole ‘nother of joining together professionally and personally to take care of ourselves and our family members.”

Boucher is on the front lines at UCONN Health testing for COVID-19. Boucher says when a person enters the sampling line, they register at one tent, and enter into what’s called a hot zone to get tested with a  nasal swab.

UCONN Health says with the number of cases rising in the state, it’s important to make an appointment.

Dr. Scott Allen with UCONN Health explained, “We have a limited supply of testing materials so to know how many people we are actually testing coming by appointment is really important.

Hartford Healthcare says it runs by appointment only as well but says the best way to get tested is by first going to your primary care physician.

Keith Grant with Hartford Healthcare said, “Definitely reach out to your provider and your provider will give you the appropriate information in order for this to happen.”

Turning to Saint Francis in Hartford, FOX61 asked leaders what would happen if no one had insurance coming through the drive thru.

Dr. Michael Grey who is the Chairman of Medicine at Saint Francis said, “Doesn’t matter, we don’t take insurance at the registration, it really is just a physician order and a photo ID.”

It’s advised from health officials that you see a physician because the drive thru testing sites are not doing a clinical analysis, only collecting samples.

Dr. Michael Grey said, “The vast majority of patients who are coming to be tested are turning out to be negative which is reassuring.”

Positive cases are still expected to climb, but results vary from each healthcare group.

All say it’s best to call ahead before making the drive.

FOX61 spoke with a health care center which said that if a person doesn’t have insurance they can still get in touch with a physician, but only if it is through a federally qualified health center.

The center will then get that person in contact with a physician who will then make an assessment to get a doctor’s order to go through drive thru testing.