Drive-through testing is coming to the U.S.

Drive-through testing for coronavirus is finally introduced in the U.S. These temporary clinics can help assess the scale of the pandemic.

What are drive-through testing centers like?

In Colorado, Texas, and Florida, drive-through testing facilities are being developed across the U.S. New Rochelle, NY, a containment zone and an infection hotspot, can test up to 200 people per day for coronavirus. Gov. Andrew Cuomo explained, “This is drive-through testing, something I didn't hear of last week but something that we're doing this week, thanks to the good efforts of the team we have here. You drive in in your car and the medical staff comes to you, does the test, takes the swabs and then you pull out.”

Previous testing efforts

On March 26, 552,000 people had been tested in the U.S. Some testing facilities are open to everyone others require a doctor’s note or a pre-screening appointment. The testing is done in 10-15 minutes. It consists of a nose swab, and the results take 24 hours to 3 days, Congress has passed legislation making tests free. Drive-through testing was first launched in South Korea. Its first testing site opened on February 26, as the country reported 1,261 active cases. The mayor of Goyang, Lee Jae-joon, said officials were inspired by drive-throughs at places like Starbucks. The sampling is free.

Increasing the number of COVID-19 tests administered

In the U.S., testing ramped up, but only since mid-March. The delays in widespread testing have made it difficult to assess the scale of the pandemic. Rep. Carolyn Maloney stated, “South Korea tested more than 66,000 people with just one within just one week of its first case of community transmission. South Korea has now tested more than 196,000 people. But we are not anywhere close to that. They started conducting drive through testing, but people here in the United States can't even get tested by their own doctors.” Adm. Brett Giroir was designated as testing czar as the White House vowed to catch up. Drive-through testing limits exposition for health workers and takes the burden off emergency rooms. For those who don’t have access to a car, other testing facilities exist like walk-in clinics. At-home testing is also being developed.