WMC offers reminder of COVID testing

WEIRTON — Weirton Medical Center officials are reminding area residents of the services the hospital provides in relation to testing for the COVID-19 virus.

“WMC operates an external testing facility outside our emergency entrance and we definitely have seen periodic upticks in COVID testing requests,” said Kelli McCoy, WMC director of communications. “If you are coming to WMC for COVID testing, it is important you talk to your primary care physician first. The WMC site is not a ‘walk-up’ clinic and patients need to have an order from a WMC staff physician to obtain testing at this site.”

McCoy advised residents to first speak with their primary care physician when seeking a COVID test.

“If you are returning from vacation and want tested, definitely talk to your physician first because there is an incubation period required for accurate testing,” she said.

Patients going to the hospital for COVID tests without a physician order will be treated through the emergency department. McCoy noted if a patient is not symptomatic, it could be time consuming and costly for patients.

For those with a physician order, the COVID testing facility, located outside of the emergency department entrance, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Our WMC informatics team tracks national and local testing data,” said Dr. Vardhan Reddy, WMC’s chief medical officer. “The U.S. COVID testing numbers for June tripled what they were in April, going from 5 million to 15 million a month. For the same period, monthly COVID hospitalizations declined by 40 percent and monthly COVID deaths by nearly 60 percent. This is good news in terms of the decreasing overall impact on patients. Locally, we are seeing similar trends in terms of more testing but not presently any major uptick in hospital admitted COVID patients. Our positive test rate remains just below 2 percent which is low nationally.”

“It is important to remember that in addition to taking smart precautions to protect us from infection, patients should not put off medical care,” Reddy said. “We are seeing an increase in patients who delayed treatment of chronic illness as a result of their fear of contracting COVID and that can have a far greater negative impact on their health. Don’t avoid your physician or hospital if you need care, especially now.”


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