BRIGHTON, Colo. — Demand for COVID-19 testing has led a Colorado urgent care to find a new use for its mobile clinic.
“When we recognized how contagious the virus was, we quickly realized we weren’t going to be able to manage it in the same clinical setting as other illnesses just because of the exposure rate,” said Kate Euser, the risk and safety officer for Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine.
So, the old bus the practice had converted after buying it from the police department in Arlington, Texas several years ago was pulled into service, parked outside the practice’s clinic near 27th and Purcell in Brighton with a sign placed out front reading ‘COVID-19 testing.’
The goal was to provide the testing that people wanted while keeping the potential exposure to a minimum.
“It didn’t just come down to exposing other patients, but exposing our staff,” said Euser. “We know this isn’t going to be over tomorrow. We have to make sure that our staff can weather this storm and we need them to stay healthy throughout this.”
Drive-up testing began at the mobile clinic on March 17 and since then, more than 200 tests have been done on patients who went through the practice’s triage process.
“They call in, we get them in with a virtual provider so that the provider can make sure that they qualify for testing,” said Euser.
That means patients answer a series of questions about symptoms to see if they match those consistent with COVID-19.
“Really the criteria no longer requires that travel or direct contact is in place because of the community spread,” said Euser. “So, it really comes down to symptoms. If they are symptomatic, they will pretty much qualify. If it turns out that it's negative, we can still treat those symptoms down the road and make them feel better.”
If the patient qualifies, their chart is passed on to the team working the mobile clinic and the patient just needs to drive up.
“They don't have to get out of their car,” said Euser. “We have patient care techs ready to meet them at their car and do their swab and the turnaround time has been 48 hours at this point.”
Quest Diagnostics provides the tests.
"It’s so important to get people tested,” said Euser. “As long as Quest keeps getting us the testing supplies, we will continue to test. We have to get these people tested so we can isolate them and reduce any further spread of this virus.”
The mobile clinic in Brighton is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine also plans to open a second drive-up testing site at its clinic in Stapleton at 3890 Quebec Street.
Its hours will also be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., however hours at both locations could be extended based on demand and testing capacity.
The practice asks patients to call the triage line first at (303) 558-0509.
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