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Fitzgibbon to end curbside testing; moves COVID testing to inside hospital

June 11, 2020

     As healthcare moves from COVID-19 response to resumption of normal operations, Fitzgibbon Hospital will end its round-the-clock curbside testing and transition to a more permanent location and process inside the hospital. The makeshift tent outside the Emergency Department will be coming down, and all patients will be directed to a new testing station inside Fitzgibbon Hospital near Ambulatory Care.

     Effective Tuesday, June 16, COVID-19 testing will occur in a newly configured testing station which allows for the privacy of patients and the safety of staff, patients and visitors. The specimen collection site will operate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Patients with a provider’s order for testing should present during these hours. Universal masking is still in effect for all individuals entering the hospital. In addition to wearing a mask, patients will be asked to wait in the main lobby, observing social distancing measures, until they are called back to the testing area for specimen collection.

     “As we followed the trend of declining rates of testing that we were conducting, the falling number of positives in our county and lower numbers of patients seeking COVID-19 testing, we realized it is time to resume some normalcy in our operations,” said Angy Littrell, MBA-CPA, President and CEO of Fitzgibbon Hospital. “The temporary tent outside our Emergency Room has been a bit intimidating to our patients and may even be a mental barrier to those who need emergency care. We feel our patients are better served via a dedicated specimen collection site within our hospital. We have put much thought and consideration into making this happen, while still ensuring our community is served and the risk from the COVID-19 virus is minimized.”

     Patients who have a referral for COVID-19 or other lab testing – whether pre-procedure testing or otherwise scheduled - should be aware of the revised location and availability of testing hours. Anyone experiencing the need for emergency care, including symptoms of COVID-19, may be seen by Emergency Room personnel for a medical evaluation in accordance with existing Emergency Department procedures.

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