As of Wednesday afternoon, the testing centers for coronavirus in northeast Ohio are centered in Cuyahoga County. But that might change soon.
University Hospitals said in a press release on Wednesday that it is planning to set up a drive-through testing center on Enterprise Parkway near the hospital’s medical center in Ravenna, but it is not yet open as of Wednesday afternoon. Only people with a doctor’s note can be tested for the novel coronavirus as testing is limited.
"We are working closely with UH System Command structure to operationalize a drive-through when we have the necessary supplies," the press release said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 88 confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been detected in 19 Ohio counties, although none confirmed in Portage County. They range in age from 2 years old to 91 years. So far, 26 people have been hospitalized.
Testing is currently available at UH Landerbrook Health Center in Mayfield Heights and the W.O. Walker Building at University Circle in Cleveland. UH patients will be sent to the Landerbrook drive-through and Cleveland Clinic patients will be sent to the Walker drive-through.
Patients who are suspected to have the virus can also be swabbed at the UH Portage Medical Center emergency room, but EMS services have said they are trying to keep people away from emergency rooms who might be sick with the virus unless it is absolutely essential they need to be at the emergency room.
Cleveland Clinic is testing the swabs to see if they are positive.
Symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, body or muscle aches. University Hospitals said the symptoms appear between two and 14 days after exposure.
Anyone who thinks they have the coronavirus should contact their primary doctor.
There have been changes to the criteria of who can be tested because of overwhelming demand, according to a press release from the Cleveland Clinic. Testing is prioritized for those who are currently hospitalized and those who are 61 years of age or older.
For patients under 60 who have a doctor’s order, the Cleveland Clinic said a doctor would contact them with further instructions.
Patients with a fever higher than 100.4 degrees and/or a cough should isolate themselves from others.
Paitents with a Cleveland Clinic physician’s order will no longer be tested at the Landerbrook location, the press release added.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine addressed testing during his daily press conference on Wednesday, asking people to allow those at the highest risk to be tested first.
"The vast majority of people who have this virus do not need to be tested," DeWine said.
He asked everyone to stay home and to isolate themselves whenever possible as the virus is "very, very dangerous."
"This is a crisis you have never seen in your life, and I hope you will never see it again in your life," DeWine said. "But we have to get through this."
Contact reporter Eileen McClory at email@example.com or @Eileen_McClory on Twitter.