o'bleness hospital sign

The South Shafer Street entrance to OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital in Athens.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, a news release announced Monday evening, OhioHealth has expanded to four total COVID-19 ambulatory testing sites for certain high-risk patients based on supply availability. One of them is in Athens.

The one in Athens opened on Tuesday. While the times and dates are subject to change, the testing site for now will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends (though they may close early if supplies run out).

These are NOT on-demand testing sites for the general public, however, the release emphasized. The location is only provided when the physician signs the order.

Rather, the testing is for certain high-risk patients. “People will be turned away without a physician order from the OhioHealth COVID-19 Clinical Team,” the release said. “Currently, OhioHealth is reserving the tests for the highest-risk patients. We will continue to expand (or suspend) the testing locations based on supply availability. As soon as testing capacity is used up each day, triage lines will be turned off until the following day. 

“The targeted population for testing are patients with symptoms who are 60 years or older with co-morbidities (uncontrolled diabetes, immune-suppressed, CHF/COPD, or other conditions as approved by the referring physician) or healthcare providers and associates,” the release said. 

A patient who’s in the targeted population must present a physician order and symptoms that qualify for a test that include a fever, a new or worsening shortness of breath, a cough, acute fatigue, and/or confusion.

“OhioHealth has established processes to allow providers who do not use our electronic medical records to refer patients to the sites as well,” the release concluded. 

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