Published on March 16, 2020

Pardee UNC Health and Henderson County Department of Public Health Partner to Offer Drive-Thru COVID-19 Screening Site at Blue Ridge Community College Screening site available from 9:00 am - 7:00 pm; patients encouraged to call first.

On Sunday, March 15, Pardee UNC Health and Henderson County Government, working with the Henderson County Department of Public Health, Henderson County Emergency Management, and the Mountain Area Healthcare Preparedness Coalition began operating a drive-through COVID-19 screening site on the main campus of Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, NC. An offsite, mobile screening site like this is an extremely important step in preventing community spread and minimizing patient surges within the hospital setting.

“We are so grateful to our partners,” said David Ellis, chief medical officer for Pardee UNC Health. “They all, without hesitation, quickly stepped forward to help in whatever way that they could to make this endeavor come together for our community.” Ellis notes that the screening site will continue to evolve and asks that the community have patience with all parties involved as they navigate uncharted territory to address a global pandemic here at home.

The drive-thru COVID-19 screening site, located at 180 West Campus Drive on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College, will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The screening site is set up for community members that are exhibiting symptoms of cough, fever greater than 100 degrees and shortness of breath, and have already spoken with the Pardee COVID-19 Helpline (828-694-8048) to determine if symptoms qualify for flu and / or COVID-19 testing. Please note that no one under the age of 12 will be screened for COVID-19. The Pardee COVID-19 Helpline is open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. The Helpline is handling a high volume of calls and ask the public to be patient with the process.

Patients are being asked to refrain from showing up at the site without first being screened by phone. If a patient meets screening criteria, they will be asked to drive to Blue Ridge Community College and follow the signs for screening. If patients arrive without having met screening criteria, they will be asked to pull out of the line and call the Pardee COVID-19 Helpline.

Once approved to continue, patients will drive through a series of screening stations, the first of which will include additional, more detailed screening questions beyond the initial call and temperature taken. If that additional criteria is met, the patient will pull forward to the next screening station for a flu test. Patients will wait in the car for test results. If the flu test is positive, patients will be provided guidance and/or treatment for in-home care and asked to exit the drive-thru screening site.

If the flu test is negative, patients will be directed to the third and final screening station for a COVID-19 specimen collection. Staff, using appropriate precautions, will collect specimens on-site. Unlike the rapid flu tests given on site, COVID-19 test results can take several days to be verified. Staff from the Henderson County Department of Public Health will be on hand to offer guidance for self-isolation and symptom management to those who do receive a COVID-19 test. Patients who receives a COVID-19 test will be expected to self-quarantine at home for five to six days while awaiting the results of the test. If and when a case is confirmed, the Department of Public Health will announce.

There is no charge for the drive-thru service. If medication is warranted for flu or to manage symptoms at home, fees may apply. No medication will be dispensed on site.

As a reminder for the community, if you suspect that you have COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, you should first:

  • Call the Pardee COVID-19 Helpline (828-694-8048) between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to determine if symptoms qualify for flu and / or COVID-19 testing.
  • Do not go to the emergency department. Emergency Departments need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. For general questions, you can call the UNC Health COVID-19 Helpline at 1-888-850-2684, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday or the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821. All residents are encouraged to continue to follow the precautions offered by the CDC to protect themselves and others from the spread of all respiratory illness, including flu and COVID-19.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Avoid contact with people that are sick.
  • Practice frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer that is at least 70% alcohol if there is no access to soap and water.
  • Practice safe coughing and sneezing etiquette - utilize a tissue that is immediately thrown away or cough/sneeze into your elbow.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with household cleaners.

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