DC children’s hospital opens drive-up coronavirus testing

A children’s hospital in D.C. has opened a drive-up location where patients can be tested for the new coronavirus.

Children’s National Hospital opened a location for COVID-19 testing at a site donated by Trinity Washington University. Patients who are children or young adults up to 22 years old can drive up or walk up with a referral from their doctor.

A referral is required, which can be precipitated if the patient is at an increased risk due to an underlying medical condition, or if the child has a family member who is in a high-risk category.

“The hope is that we created an additional, more convenient option for the primary care doctors in our community to safely identify the children who require quarantine and care. It also means fewer families will be forced to visit an emergency department for a COVID-19 test,” said Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children’s National.

The site saw a limited number of patients during a pilot period over the weekend, the hospital said in a news release.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser visited the site Saturday and said, “This critical drive-up service will help ensure our children can get tested and support the District’s efforts to flatten the curve.”

Referred patients will get paperwork and directions to access the site. They will need a photo ID, in addition to their referral form.

The specimen collected will be sent to Quest Diagnostics for analysis, the site’s laboratory partner. Results will be sent to the patient’s referring doctor in three to five days.

Find out how to get a referral at the hospital’s coronavirus page.

Donors raised more than $1 million for the establishment of the site.

Last week, Virginia Hospital Center partnered with Arlington County to open a temporary drive-thru coronavirus collection site.

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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