CORALVILLE, Iowa (KWWL) - Mercy Iowa City recently opened a drive-thru testing facility for COVID-19 at one of its Coralville clinics.
Health care officials across the country have been looking at drive-thru testing because of its ability to isolate those seeing respiratory symptoms and conserve precious protective equipment like surgical masks, which are in short supply across the U.S.
"It minimizes provider and colleague exposure in the clinic sites," Margaret Reese with Mercy Iowa City said. "And it conserves protective equipment by centralizing these tests in one location."
Reese said as of Tuesday morning, the facility had administered 23 tests and patients are getting their results back in about 24 hours.
While health care workers are excited about the innovation, they stressed Tuesday it's only for patients who've been approved for a test there after being screened by a provider.
"It may be 'drive-up' but it is not 'drive by'. So, they must have a medical order before they can go there," Reese said.
People who live around the new Coralville location say it was busy on Monday and have been impressed with the safety measures staffers have been taking.
"They're really cautious; even when they walk, everyone has their space," Curtis McBride said, who lives in the area.