UPMC Bedford collection site ready to open next week

Local News

EVERETT, BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Starting next week, a new Coronavirus collection site will be up and running at UPMC Bedford.

The hospital said patients from the county used to drive to Altoona just to be tested, and this addition will help the community stay healthy and informed.

“This is, to me, in direct response to what the people of Bedford County wanted,” Lead Administrator Dale Fuller said.

When potential positive patients gets a test ordered from their doctor, they can be scheduled to come into the site. When they arrive, they’ll be given a mask and gloves so there’s less surfaces to disinfect after the test. Then, they’re brought into the “hot room.”

“This is considered the hot room because we will be bringing symptomatic patients in and testing them,” Fuller said.

The staff member will be in full PPE, with an outer protection gown, an apron, gloves, what’s called a PAPR mask.

The collection room is also negative pressure.

“The air in this room is gonna be pulled, and there’s a device that’s creating the pressure and it’s just pulling air into a filter and pushing it out,” Fuller said.

Something that’s even more important because the site is inside the hospital.

“We had to really make sure, from an infection control standpoint, that we had absolute control of how the patient was gonna come in the building and then exit and the cleaning procedures,” Fuller said.

Once a patients gets their nasal swab done, the staffer gives them instructions ahead of receiving their test results. Then, they leave. The room is completed wiped down, and PPE is taken off and switched before the next patient comes in.

“This is pretty much the standard for collections across most of the U.S.,” Fuller said.

The testing site will officially open on Wednesday, but patients still need a doctor’s order to be tested. For the first few weeks, the site will test for two hours and work its way up to four. They’re expecting around 10 patients per day because that’s how many would travel to the Altoona testing site on a daily basis.

As for the test results, the swabs are sent to Quest in Pittsburgh, and they usually return in 3 to 5 days.

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