May 21, 2020
COLUMBUS, Ohio – To provide increased access to testing for COVID-19 as restrictions lift in Ohio, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has added a new location for community-based testing in northeast Columbus at the Wexner Medical Center Community Testing Center at KIPP Columbus.
As part of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Health Equity Steering Committee’s initiatives, a third drive-thru testing site using the Community Care Coach has been established. The site borders the 43219 and 43211 target zip codes where residents tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to socioeconomic status, race, housing characteristics and underlying chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
“Emerging data reveals a disparity in the impact of COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority groups due in part to social determinants of health such as low-wage essential work, living conditions, and access to care and testing,” said Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for Health Affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Community-based testing is an essential service we are providing to area residents, even if they are not established patients at Ohio State, to ensure everyone receives the care they need. Expanded testing will allow for a more precise quarantine approach, which should help decrease the spread of the virus while opening the economy.”
To be tested, a person will need to meet accepted guidelines for testing. A physician referral is not required for the new northeast Columbus location but people must register in advance by phone to be tested.
COVID-19 symptoms include fever of 100 degrees of more, shortness of breath, dry cough, sore throat, headache, body aches, chills, sudden loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. People with these symptoms who want to be tested at the new northeast Columbus location can call 614-366-6800.
“After calling the dedicated testing hotline, patients will be able to come to this site, be tested and receive the results within 72 hours,” said Dr. Daniel Bachmann, emergency medicine physician and director of emergency preparedness at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “We’ll provide patients with educational materials on how to quarantine while waiting for the results. We have the capacity to test up to 100 patients a day.”
Test results will be shared with patients online, by phone or mail. People who do not have a primary care provider can be connected with one via telehealth.
“Not only is it important that people in vulnerable communities be tested, they also need to develop a relationship with a primary care provider who can care for them as they are being treated for an acute illness as well as support their long-term health and well-being,” said Dr. Nwando Olayiwola, chair and professor of family medicine at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
Testing is offered at the Wexner Medical Center Community Testing Center at KIPP Columbus on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 2900 Inspire Drive. Patients must call the COVID-19 hotline at 614-366-6800 to be registered prior to arrival. Patients should bring a photo ID and insurance card, if they have one. No one will be turned away due to ability to pay. Medical interpreter services are available.
This initiative is a collaboration among the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and its Department of Family Medicine, Community Care Coach and OSU Physicians; The Ohio State University Total Health and Wellness Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center; Columbus Public Health; Franklin County Public Health and KIPP Columbus.
Media contact: Serena Smith, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737, Serena.Smith@osumc.edu