COVID-19 drive-thru testing begins Wednesday

The Cass County Health Department and Memorial Hospital will offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Penman Building starting Wednesday, March 25.

Starting Wednesday morning, the Cass County Health Department (CCHD) and Logansport Memorial Hospital (LMH) will offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing for those who meet the CDC’s screening criteria.

Testing will be available from 9 a.m.–noon and from 2–5 p.m., Monday-Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, the program will run from 9 a.m to 2 p.m.

The testing will be in the Penman Building parking lot, located at 1701 Dividend Dr. in Logansport.

According to a press release, only individuals showing symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) will be tested. People with those or other flu-like symptoms should call their primary care provider and describe symptoms over the phone.

Those without a primary care provider should call Express Medical Center at 574-722-9633.

The medical provider will direct those eligible to the drive-thru screening site by your provider.

Those who go to the hospital’s emergency department after regular business hours or on the weekend with symptoms may be redirected to the screening site when it’s open.

At the drive-thru site, patients will need their government identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, and any medical insurance card. Patients will first be tested for the flu, then for COVID-19 as needed. Results of the flu test will be the same day, but COVID-19 results may take several days. Patients will also receive instructions to help manage symptoms during self-isolation.

Because of the screening site, Logansport Memorial’s Express Medical Center will return to its normal operations, including accepting walk-in patients for minor illnesses or injuries.

Governor’s briefing

On Tuesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb started a daily press conference updating the state’s reactions to and plans regarding combating the spread of COVID-19.

In Tuesday’s briefing, Holcomb said the state received a $5 million commitment from the Lilly Endowment to help the homeless with a quarantine site. Holcomb wouldn’t disclose the location but said the assistance’s effects should last beyond the pandemic.

He also said there’s no planned date for automakers to have the ventilators they’re retrofitting to build. Holcolb added that there’s been no patient surge at hospitals yet, and hospitals around the state are using the five main ones as models.

The governor also said that 911 dispatchers will screen calls for severity for medical issues, including asking if the caller or anyone in the household is sick. A statewide 911 monitoring system will go into effect soon to watch for overloads in areas.

Holcomb said there were more than 1,000 calls to the state’s hotline for businesses and industry to ask about the governor’s order on essential and non-essential business operations. State officials stressed that the call center — 877-820-0890 and open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — is for businesses and not employees. Employees should first talk with employers if they feel it’s a non-essential business and contact the state after that.

He also said the state has seen the largest number of unemployment claims in recent memory with 38,000 calls yesterday. Anyone out of work because of layoffs, quarantine or staying at home due to school closings is eligible and should apply online at www.unemployment.in.gov. Employers should be ready to help process layoff claims by providing information quickly.

Wednesday’s press conference should have information on a tenant-landlord bill on Holcomb’s desk, relief for those in the “gig economy” of working one-time job and on employer aid, the officials said.

Holcomb said that state officials will continue to watch how neighboring states and hotspots deal with the situation and adapt that to Indiana.

All measures being taken by Indiana are to “flatten out the curve” of the spread, including the governor’s stay-at-home order.

“This is not meant to be a hammer. This is meant to be instructional,” Holcomb said.

Also at the press conference, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter stressed that there are fear mongering rumors and lies going around on the internet, such as ones about denying care based on age.

He said people need to stay with reputable news sources.

“We can’t let this threat define us,” Carter said.

Reach James D. Wolf Jr. at james.wolf@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5117. Twitter: @JamesDWolfJr

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