Do you have mild COVID-19 symptoms? Now is the time to get tested, officials say

McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center is offering drive-through testing. Here's what you need to know.

Posted: Apr 29, 2020 7:10 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore -- McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center is offering drive-through testing for people who qualify, and leaders at Lane County Public Health are urging people who have mild COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

Adam Loris, the hospital's assistant CEO, said they have been doing the drive-through testing for over a week and a half. They are using equipment that was bought by the Univiery of Oregon. People who get tested there first need to get a note from their doctor.

He said right now they are averaging about 25 people a day but they could do more. They are urging people with mild symptoms to contact their doctor.

"We'd love to see this having 70 to 100 people going through it a day," Loris said. "We'd love to see the community take advantage of it."

He said while most insurance companies cover the cost of the test, there is no copay. He said it's even free for people who don't have insurance because the federal government is willing to foot the bill after they take down your information.

Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis said at first the materials needed to conduct the testing were in short supply, and many providers were very conservative about how they were used. He said that's no longer the case, and he is urging doctors and providers to follow the new guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority that include testing people with mild symptoms.

"If you are a member of the public and are experiencing some of those classic COVID symptoms, those mild symptoms, do feel empowered to call your provider and have the conversations about the testing," Davis said. "We want to see that increase."

Sherron Murchy got tested Wednesday at McKenzie-Willamette after after being advised by her doctor. She said she lost her sense of taste and smell and has had headaches and felt exhausted for two weeks. She lives with her sisters and she's worried about their health too if she tests positive.

"To think maybe I might have it made it even worse," Murchy said. "All I want to do is go to bed and go to sleep. If I didn't believe in God and that he is covering all of his saints, I would be scared to death."

Loris said out of more than 450 people who been tested at McKenzie-Willamette, six have tested positive. He said all of the positive cases did come through the drive-through.

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