CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KMOX) - Those in the St. Louis community who have a fever of at least 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms including cough or shortness of breath will be able to get tested for COVID-19 in a drive-through set up by Mercy.
The drive-through test location will open on Saturday at the Mercy Virtual Care Center in Chesterfield. Patients will be required to call Mercy’s clinical support line at 314-251-0500 to be screened, and if appropriate, proceed to the test collection site.
Mercy says there will be a cost associated with the testing, but "it’s unknown if commercial insurance or government funding will cover any of the cost." They will collect a sample and send it to the designated lab, the state health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Results of the test "may take several days."
“We will only provide screening for those who meet these requirements because testing prior to the appearance of symptoms can result in a false negative,” said Dr. Keith Starke, Mercy’s chief quality officer. “It’s critical for our communities that we screen those with the highest risk.”
Mercy is opening this drive-through location at the Mercy Virtual Care Center, 15740 S. Outer Forty Road in Chesterfield, to provide a designated place for COVID-19 testing for the St. Louis community.
“This drive-through testing site will prevent unnecessary exposure to our patients and caregivers in our hospitals and clinics,” said Donn Sorensen, Mercy’s executive vice president of operations who is leading COVID-19 response across Mercy. “By directing at-risk people to this site, Mercy will limit the traffic to our hospitals and clinics. The safety of our patients, visitors and co-workers is of the utmost importance.”
Patients will first call Mercy’s clinical support line at 314-251-0500 to be screened, and if appropriate, proceed to the test collection site. Mercy will collect a sample and send it to the designated lab, the state health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Results may take several days. There will be a cost associated with the testing; it’s unknown if commercial insurance or government funding will cover any of the cost.
Mercy is working closely with BJC HealthCare and SSM Health, as well as the state and local health departments, as additional sites are opened across St. Louis. Mercy also plans to open additional test collection sites across Mercy’s four states.
While COVID-19 is spread from person to person, more than 80% of the patients who develop it will only become mildly ill. The concern is for patients with underlying medical conditions and the elderly, who are more likely to need hospital-level supportive care.