COVID-19 Community Testing Plan
Northern Light Inland Hospital is looking at new ways to streamline screening and testing. We are working diligently to establish a Drive-Up Test Site and a Screening Hotline for Waterville to start on Friday, March 20 between Noon-3 pm.
Planning is occurring now with the city of Waterville and others. We are grateful for all our community partners, including Faith Church next door to Inland, which is allowing us to use their parking lot at 250 Kennedy Memorial Drive for our Drive-Up Test Site.
Drive-Up Testing sites save time by preserving patient care space for those who need it most, helps protect staff at our ambulatory sites and consolidates our use of precious PPE and supplies. We are establishing a central Screening Hotline (triage phone number) to determine if patients are eligible for testing and then will instruct them to go to the most convenient testing location. This phone number will be released tomorrow.
Please understand: As much as we would like to, we cannot test on demand. Testing is available only with an order by a healthcare professional for people who have been screened for symptoms and risk according to CDC testing guidelines.
Currently, testing people who are not symptomatic is not recommended by the CDC. According to new information from the Maine CDC, testing asymptomatic individuals (i.e. those who are showing no symptoms) may result in inaccurate test results because there is not enough virus in their system to register on the test. Also, testing supplies are limited. We need to ensure that we have enough on hand to test those who need it most.
Thank you for understanding this process as we work to stop the spread of COVID in our community.