FARMINGTON – San Juan Regional Medical Center has established a drive-thru assessment area for people experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms.
The external assessment area is located in parking lots across the street from the hospital on West Piñon Street and will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
In a news release Saturday, the hospital said it “continues efforts to protect our community while providing quality care for our patients.”
As of Monday afternoon, the state of New Mexico was reporting 17 confirmed presumptive positive cases of the virus. None of the cases is confirmed in San Juan County, N.M.
The first drive-thru assessment was held Friday, and 39 people were screened, said Laura Werbner, spokeswoman for San Juan Regional Medical Center. She said the hospital is reminding people to come through the assessments when they have the appropriate flu- and cold-like symptoms – fever, cough, body aches, sore throat and runny nose.
Instead of visiting the emergency department or one of the off-site health care clinics, the medical center encourages patients experiencing minor flu or cold symptoms to “visit this assessment area to be evaluated and treated if necessary, this includes consideration for COVID-19 testing.”
A series of signs in the parking lot will guide patients to where they should drive and a registration phone number to call, while remaining in their vehicle. Anyone showing up will need to have their ID and insurance information, according to the hospital’s news release.
“The goal is to meet our community needs and assess those patients with minor symptoms to prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” the statement said.
The establishment of the drive-thru assessment comes the same week the governor of New Mexico established a state of emergency after the first three positive cases of COVID-19 were discovered in the state. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has continued to take quick action to slow the spread of the virus throughout the state, including closing K-12 schools for three weeks.
San Juan Basin Public Health told The Durango Herald last week it plans to open additional testing sites but was waiting for supplies. On Monday, the public health department, along with La Plata County and the city of Durango, announced it was declaring a public health emergency to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As of Monday morning, there were no confirmed positive cases of the virus in La Plata or Archuleta counties, while Colorado has 131 confirmed presumptive positive cases.
People with flu- or cold-like symptoms are encouraged to contact their primary care provider or the hotline established by the N.M. Health Department at (855) 600-3453 for additional questions on testing or when it is appropriate to return to work.