LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – UPMC Pinnacle will begin directing patients who received a physician consultation and referral for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to an outpatient specimen collection site at 650 N. Prince St, Lancaster.
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health will also offer COVID-19 testing at the site and will issue a separate announcement.
The site is a partnership between Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and UPMC. Staffing, supplies, and IT infrastructure were funded by each partner for their portion of the site set-up.
UPMC’s specimen collection is not open to the public, and walk-in patients will not be tested. If testing is sought, the patient must be evaluated by their care provider, who then must assess the need and contact the UPMC Pinnacle infection prevention team. That team will review the key information and if testing is deemed needed, an appointment will be scheduled to have their specimen collected. Patients will receive a call with their scheduled appointment information and should self-isolate until that appointment.
“By locating this collection site outside of Clipper Magazine Stadium, we are able to serve the needs of Lancaster City and the surrounding community in an easily accessible and safe environment,” said Brooks Turkel, president of Lancaster Region, UPMC.
Trained UPMC staff will collect specimens, doing so safely in personal protective equipment that includes gowns, gloves, and N95 masks or respirators. The process involves a “nasopharyngeal” swab, a thin device inserted through a patient’s nose into the nasal cavity.
The specimens will be safely transported to one of three places for testing: the UPMC Clinical Laboratory in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania’s Department of Health laboratory in Exeter, PA, or a commercial laboratory. Depending on the laboratory conducting the test, results could be returned in less than 24 hours or within one week.
Anyone whose sample is taken should self-isolate until results come back. If a COVID 19 test returns positive, UPMC will refer the patient to public health authorities and ensure ongoing care. People who suspect they have COVID-19, but do not have a high fever or breathing problems should call their primary care physician or use their provider’s virtual visit options to get advice.
Individuals who do not have a primary care provider can call the UPMC Pinnacle Nurse Advice team at 1-866-968-7731 or 717-988-0074. More information about online video visits can also be found at UPMCPinnacle.com/VideoVisit.
Anyone with a high fever or more prominent breathing trouble should go to their local emergency department for evaluation and care. If possible, call ahead so they can plan for your arrival.