One of the biggest complaints in New Orleans during the entire coronavirus crisis has been a lack of available tests for the virus. How can we protect ourselves against its spread when no one can even be sure if they have it? New Orleans East Hospital has responded to those concerns with a recently opened drive-thru COVID-19 testing center.
As of Wednesday, March 25, the hospital is now offering tests for the virus Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Anyone who suffers from any of the cold- or flu-like symptoms associated with the virus, such as fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, or runny nose, must first call the hospital's COVID-19 hotline (504-962-6202) before heading down to the hospital for a test. Callers will be screened by a professional who will determine the likelihood that each person is infected and decide if a test is actually required. If so, those people will be asked to come down to the hospital for drive-thru testing. Bring your insurance card and photo ID, and, for safety purposes, be sure to leave your car windows rolled up until given further directions. Following testing, the results will be communicated by telephone within five to seven business days.
This is the first such testing center in New Orleans and will be available until the supply of tests has been depleted.
New Orleans East Hospital is located at 5620 Read Blvd., noehospital.org. The hotline number again (call first!) is 504.962.6202.
(Cover photo from WHLC Architecture website.)