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Published on March 17, 2020

Cone Health Preparations and Guidance to Our Communities: Social Distancing, Opening Drive-thru Testing, Additional Steps to Control Potential Spread of COVID-19

Emergency department triage stations will also be available to serve potential coronavirus patients separately.

Greensboro ― Cone Health announces measures to help control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19.) This includes a drive-thru collection center at 300 E. Wendover Ave. that will be open to the community at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

“During these uncertain and unsettling times, we urge people to remain calm and understand that Cone Health and other area health care systems and providers are preparing carefully and thoughtfully for the potential spread of the coronavirus,” says Terry Akin, CEO, Cone Health. “We also encourage as much ‘social distancing’ as possible (avoiding large meetings or groups of people, and minimizing overall social contact) in order to help keep people safe and minimize the spread of the disease. We continue to work closely with other health systems in our region and across the state, as well as local, county, state and federal governments in anticipation of the continued spread of COVID-19. Collection centers and triage stations are some of our latest steps in that direction.”

The collection centers are a convenient way for someone to be tested while avoiding possibly spreading the virus to those in a doctor’s office or an emergency department. The individual would call their primary care physician or make a virtual visit. If the physician determines that COVID-19 testing is needed, the person would be sent to a specimen collection site. Other health systems are taking similar steps across our region. Cone Health’s drive-thru collection site will open tomorrow in Greensboro at 300 E. Wendover Ave. Without leaving their car, a sample will be collected, and they will return home to self-quarantine and await results. No one will be tested without an order from a physician.

“With heightened awareness throughout the community, citizens with symptoms want answers and support,” says Bruce Swords MD, PhD, chief medical executive Cone Health. “We are establishing more convenient ways to get care while limiting exposure to others.”

Additionally, all five Cone Health emergency departments (The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, Wesley Long Hospital, Alamance Regional Medical Center, Annie Penn Hospital and MedCenter High Point) are establishing separate triaging care stations for those with respiratory symptoms. These resources will allow our emergency departments to meet the needs of our community as they change.

Again, Cone Health reminds all citizens in our communities of the importance of frequent hand washing, covering coughs and social distancing. Please avoid large groups of people and stay home whenever possible. The CDC also advises staying six feet from others if you must go out.

Cone Health is asking that the public help reduce the risk to staff and patients by not visiting our hospitals and other facilities unless absolutely necessary. Cone Health is also working with agencies to provide childcare and other support so that our staff can continue to be to be available to care for with our patients and communities.

Those who believe they may have COVID-19 symptoms, should follow the screening process guidelines at conehealth.com/coronavirus. This includes a self-assessment and options for free virtual care.

Additional information about COVID-19 is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.