UPDATE March 26, 2020
Due to a limited number of COVID-19 testing supplies across the U.S. and consistent with other health care providers, only patients who are very ill and meet COVID-19 criteria are currently being tested. For those with symptoms, we recommend staying home and away from others and taking care of yourself as you would with other viruses. If symptoms escalate, patients should contact their primary care physician.
To get tested, contact your primary care provider or use our interactive risk assessment.
March 13, 2020
With Missouri’s first cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) sparking concern in the St. Louis community and with more widely available testing resources, Mercy will open a drive-through COVID-19 test collection site on Saturday, March 14.
Mercy Test Collection Site is exclusively for patients who have a fever of at least 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms including cough or shortness of breath and either travel to a high risk area or contact with a known patient. Anyone seeking a test must visit Mercy’s COVID-19 page.
“We will only provide screening for those who meet these requirements because testing prior to the appearance of symptoms can result in a false negative,” said Dr. Keith Starke, Mercy’s chief quality officer. “It’s critical for our communities that we screen those with the highest risk.”
Mercy is opening this drive-through location at the Mercy Virtual Care Center, 15740 S. Outer Forty Road in Chesterfield, Missouri, to provide a designated place for COVID-19 testing for the St. Louis community.
“This drive-through testing site will prevent unnecessary exposure to our patients and caregivers in our hospitals and clinics,” said Donn Sorensen, Mercy’s executive vice president of operations who is leading COVID-19 response across Mercy. “By directing at-risk people to this site, Mercy will limit the traffic to our hospitals and clinics. The safety of our patients, visitors and co-workers is of the utmost importance.”
Patients will first call Mercy’s clinical support line to be screened, and if appropriate, proceed to the test collection site. Mercy will collect a sample and send it to the designated lab, the state health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Results may take several days. There will be a cost associated with the testing; it’s unknown if commercial insurance or government funding will cover any of the cost.
Mercy is working closely with BJC HealthCare and SSM Health, as well as the state and local health departments, as additional sites are opened across St. Louis. Mercy also plans to open additional test collection sites across Mercy’s four states.
While COVID-19 is spread from person to person, more than 80% of the patients who develop it will only become mildly ill. The concern is for patients with underlying medical conditions and the elderly, who are more likely to need hospital-level supportive care.
People with COVID-19 do not have a runny nose or nasal congestion. Symptoms to be aware of include:
- 100.4 fever or higher - 90% will have fever.
- Dry cough - 70% will have a dry cough.
- Shortness of breath – for those who become more acutely ill.