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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   |   April 14, 2020

St. Charles to begin offering drive-through specimen collection service Thursday

BEND, Ore. – Starting Thursday, St. Charles Health System will begin offering a drive-through specimen collection service for COVID-19 testing outside of the St. Charles Family Care clinic at 2600 NE Neff Road in Bend.

Those taking advantage of this service must have a provider’s order and call 541-699-5107 to schedule an appointment. The ordering provider does not have to be employed by or affiliated with St. Charles.

Individuals who do not have a provider’s order will be referred to their primary care provider, or to an Immediate Care or Urgent Care clinic for evaluation.

Initially, the drive-through will be open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Upon arrival, individuals will participate in a quick registration process, after which a specimen will be collected. All specimens will be sent to the University of Washington for testing, and results should be available within two to four business days.

To use this service, individuals should enter the St. Charles Bend campus from Neff Road and follow the signage on Medical Center Drive to the drive-through entrance.

In addition to offering drive-through specimen collection, St. Charles Bend is now also able to provide rapid on-site COVID-19 testing for eligible patients who are hospitalized. The health system received its first allotment of 120 test kits Friday, allowing its Bend laboratory to begin performing COVID-19 tests on its Cepheid platform on Saturday. The health system is expecting a second shipment of 890 test kits within the next two weeks. Once that shipment is received, the health system expects to expand rapid on-site testing to its hospital laboratories in Madras, Prineville and Redmond.

Reminder: St. Charles’ Emergency Departments are open to treat patients

As a reminder to the community, St. Charles’ Emergency Departments are open to see patients with conditions other than COVID-19. All Emergency Departments have protocol in place to evaluate and triage patients in such a way so as to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. This includes taking patients with respiratory symptoms to areas for care that are separate from everyone else.

“We want to make sure people who need emergent care are getting it,” said Dr. Gillian Salton, an emergency medicine physician in the St. Charles Bend Emergency Department. “We have many processes in place, and are wearing the appropriate personal protective gear, to ensure our Emergency Departments remain safe places for those will emergent medical needs to be seen.”

It is also important to remember that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there continues to be a nationwide shortage of blood supply. Emergency Department and trauma physicians continue to urge Central Oregonians to use caution and avoid activities that could lead to a high likelihood of traumatic injury requiring blood transfusions.

About St. Charles Health System
St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,200 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.

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