At the new location, near Interstate 10 at 401 Civic Center Drive, the process for being tested will remain much the same. Patients will drive inside the civic center arena through over-sized doors for testing and then drive out.
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By Casandra Andrews
As hurricane season begins and the threat of severe weather increases, USA Health is moving its drive-through COVID-19 testing site from Ladd-Peebles Stadium to inside the Mobile Civic Center arena. The new location is set to open June 8.
Up to 200 patients a day are being tested at the public site that USA Health developed in partnership with the City of Mobile. USA Health staff have performed more than 4,000 tests on patients, first responders including law enforcement, fire fighters, nursing home workers, county jail staff and USA Health personnel. Positive test results are reported to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
At the new location, near Interstate 10 at 401 Civic Center Drive, the process for being tested will remain much the same. Patients will drive inside the civic center arena through over-sized doors for testing and then drive out, said Natalie Fox, DNP, PNP-BC, chief nursing officer for USA Health physician practices.
“To ensure the safety of our patients and staff, we consulted with our infectious disease physicians for guidance on setting up the indoor testing site,” Fox said. “They told us it’s just as safe for our testing staff from a ventilation standpoint as being outside because the space is so large.” The 80,000 square foot arena features a seven-story domed roof.
Previously, when severe weather occurred at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium site that opened April 6, 2020, staff were required to shelter indoors until unsafe conditions subsided. Strong winds have knocked over tents and damaged equipment at the site in recent weeks.
"Moving the testing site will make it safer for our patients and staff during severe weather, and will ensure those being tested prior to surgery won't have to postpone needed procedures this summer," said Michelle Dudley, executive director of practice management for USA Health and assistant vice president for medical affairs for the USA College of Medicine. "The City of Mobile has been a valuable partner as we continue to test for COVID-19 and learn more about the prevalence of this coronavirus in our community."
As a reminder, testing is by appointment only and those seeking testing should call 1-888-USA-2650 (1-888-872-2650). Phones are answered weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The tests are performed weekdays from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. No one will be admitted to the site for testing without an appointment and proper identification. USA Health patients can continue to contact their USA Health provider if they believe they need to be tested.