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Mayo Clinic surpasses 1,000 COVID-19 tests at La Crosse drive-thru site

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Mayo Clinic Health System surpassed a major milestone in testing for COVID-19.

As of Monday, the health care provider has tested over 1,000 patients at their drive-thru site for the virus.

"I think that's one of the reasons we're seeing a reduction in our COVID positive patients around," said Dr. Paul Molling. "It's helping keep those individuals that test positive at home where they need to be."

The site which is located just down the road from the hospital in a parking lot opened on March 16.

Typically, patients will find out their results within 24 to 48 hours after testing.

Dr. Molling added that it's critical to get those results back quickly especially for EMS and health care workers. The faster theses workers know their results, the faster they can return to the frontlines if the test is negative.

Symptomatic patients are also receiving testing at this drive-thru screening if they are approved by the health care provider.

"This drive-thru clinic has done exactly as we wanted it to do," said Dr. Molling. "It's keeping those patients out of the clinics, out of the hospitals and protecting our community and our EMS staff."

Patients experiencing symptoms should take the following steps: 

  • Call their primary care clinic/provider for a phone screening.
  • If they meet the criteria for testing, patients will be directed to the drive-through location.
  • At the drive-through location, Mayo Clinic Health System staff will collect the specimens using appropriate precautions.
  • The specimens will then be sent to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for analysis, with results expected in 24 to 48 hours.
  • Patients will be advised of the next steps.

Gundersen Health System also has a drive-thru testing site set up to test patients and first responders.

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Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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