Phoebe sets up coronavirus hotline, drive-thru testing sites

Step by step process of how the coronavirus hotline works

Phoebe sets up coronavirus hotline and drive-thru testing sites

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - In an effort to screen more patients for COVID-19 symptoms, Phoebe is expanding its coronavirus hotline and an opening drive-thru screening facility.

Phoebe officials said anyone who wants to be tested at the temporary screening site must first call the hotline.


The steps you need to take:

First: Call the Phoebe COVID-19 Hotline at (229) 312-1919. COVID-19 test kits remain in limited supply. Only people who are experiencing symptoms should be tested. Symptomatic individuals who pass an initial phone screening will be given an appointment and instructed where to go for in-person screening.

The hotline is available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Second: When a pre-screened patient drives up at the testing location, the patient will have to show identification, and then medical professionals wearing personal protective equipment will obtain the necessary swab. Those tests will be sent out to the lab as soon as possible. It may be several days before results come back, so we’ll give each patient some information on how they can safely isolate themselves at home, pending the test results.

Third: Older individuals and those with chronic medical conditions and compromised immune systems are at greater risk for severe complications from COVID-19, and they are at a higher priority for testing. People who are not exhibiting active symptoms are asked not to call the hotline so nurses are able to focus on higher-risk individuals.

The primary symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

“COVID-19 test kits remain in limited supply, so only people who are experiencing symptoms should be tested. Symptomatic individuals who pass an initial phone screening will be given an appointment and instructed where to go for in-person screening,” said Dr. Suresh Lakhanpal, Physicians CEO.

Beginning Monday, it will be staffed by multiple Phoebe nurses from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

When a pre-screened patient drives up at the testing location, the patient will have to show identification, and then medical professionals wearing personal protective equipment will obtain the necessary swab.

“We’ll get those tests out to the lab as soon as possible. We may have to wait several days for results, so we’ll give each patient some information on how they can safely isolate themselves at home, pending the test results,” Lakhanpal said.

Older individuals and those with chronic medical conditions and compromised immune systems are at greater risk for severe complications from COVID-19, and they are at a higher priority for testing.

People who are not exhibiting active symptoms are asked not to call the hotline so nurses are able to focus on higher-risk individuals.

Also, Phoebe Dr. Derek Heard, says it is important that you first call the hotline number.

“We want to make sure the public is calling the 312-1919 number that way they are going to be screened because we don’t want you necessarily coming in and be tested and be exposing yourself if you’re not actually the criteria to be tested," said Heard.

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