This article describes a novel drive-through coronavirus testing of possible cases in the UK. The testing site was created in response to the ‘contain’ phase of the UK response, when innovation within healthcare was needed to detect and isolate cases rapidly.
The drive-through testing team worked in pairs: a testing member and a support member. Once in the testing zone, the patient telephoned the control room. Once the patient details were confirmed, the testing member, wearing PPE, obtained a combined nose and throat swab was taken, which was placed into pre-labelled viral transport medium, double-bagged, and placed into a category B bio-bottle. The testing member returned to a secure are with the category B container, which was cleaned. Patients were informed of their results within 24 to 36 hours.
This system tested 92 patients in the first 18 hours of testing, with capacity for more, where was in-home testing teams are only able to test a maximum of 15 patients per 3 staff members per day. Moreover, the authors report that patients preferred drive-through testing because of the anonymity and specific appointment times.