Columbiana Clinic offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Columbiana Clinic is offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing by appointment.

Patients with respiratory symptoms may call the clinic to set up a time to come for drive-thru testing, which does not require the patient to get out of his or her car.

“We realized we needed to minimize the exposure for our patients and staff, so we thought that would be the best way to utilize the resources we have and still take care of our patients,” Dr. Megan Bullard said. “We felt like doing the drive-thru was best.”

Anyone experiencing respiratory or flu-like symptoms, such as fever and body aches, may come to the clinic for testing, Bullard said. Each patient’s symptoms will be evaluated in order to determine if they warrant a COVID-19 test.

The COVID-19 tests are conducted with viral swabs and must be sent off for processing. Results normally return within 7-14 days.

Bullard said the clinic can also conduct rapid flu and strep tests onsite.

If a patient undergoes a flu or strep test, they can receive their results within 15-20 minutes, before they leave the clinic’s parking lot.

Bullard said the novel coronavirus does not always present with the classic symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.

“We’re learning a lot about it, and it can present in a lot of different ways,” she said. “That’s what’s really important about staying home. You could be spreading it to someone else, even though you don’t have any symptoms at all.”

Drive-thru testing is available Monday-Thursday from 1-4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.-noon, weather permitting.

Testing is open to anyone, regardless of whether they are established patients at the clinic, and will be available until the need is no longer present, Bullard said.

The clinic has limited regular patient visits in the building during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctors are setting appointments and calling patients for issues that can be handled over the phone.

Patients who need to be seen in person by the doctor should expect to have their temperature taken and asked if they have had any respiratory issues at the door, before being escorted back to a freshly disinfected exam room.

To limit community exposure to COVID-19, patients with any fever or respiratory symptoms need to come to the drive-thru area behind the clinic.

Columbiana Clinic is located at 22266 Alabama 25 in Columbiana.

To schedule a drive-thru testing appointment, or for more information about the clinic’s current services, call (205) 669-3138.