SFVS Staff

Drive-thru testing for Coronavirus began Tuesday, March 24.

For San Fernando Valley residents concerned about the possibility of having COVID-19, there is a drive-thru testing site in place at Hansen Dam Park, off of Osborne Street and Dronefield Avenue in Lake View Terrace.

Workers wearing white hazmat protection are handling the test kits and the flow of people lined up in their cars for the test. Temporary tents are set up and traffic cones are in place to direct drivers to line up in two lanes. LAPD officers have been on the scene to help keep the steady flow of traffic moving through.

Tests at the park are being conducted by appointment only. One Valley resident, who has asthma and was concerned about her recent symptoms, made an appointment and took the test at the Hansen Dam drive-thru.

“It was an easy process, I went on their link: https://lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs and only had to answer three questions,” the resident said. She was told that she should receive her test results in a few days.

Those receiving the tests at this location are not in a state of crisis. For those people who are experiencing high fevers and having severe difficulty breathing, they are urged to seek emergency care immediately.

Hospitals meanwhile are urging people to stay away unless they do in fact have an emergency. All precautions are being taken to contain the spread of coronavirus.

There are people showing up to the emergency room just because they’re worried.  With rain and sun forcast for the coming days, people’s allergies are kicking up, but with 24-hour news coverage, people are imagining their symptoms to be COVID-19 and taking up precious hospital time and resources.

A sign blocking the entrance of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills is clear: visitors aren’t welcome to come in — “There are no visiting hours at this time”.

A statement released by Holy Cross emphasized the need to limit the numbers of people coming in and out of the hospital.

“We have canceled all public meetings within the hospitals, and have visitor limitations in place. Currently we have a no visitation policy in place, except in special end of life circumstances. Should we have a COVID-19 patient, no visitors will be allowed in the patient room but video chats are welcome. We know the COVID-19 situation is changing by the hour,” according to the statement. 

Holy Cross and other valley hospitals are recommending that community members who may be having mild symptoms and suspect they have the virus to first contact their primary care providers who can provide instructions for care and testing. Holy Cross Hospital is not offering drive-up testing, and aren’t conducting routine COVID-19 tests.

For those who don’t have a primary care provider, people can reach out to Holy Cross personnel by calling (888) HEALING for a physician referral or visit the Providence website. The hospital is also offering a virtual visit with a provider through Providence ExpressCare Virtual which can be accessed in the app store or on your mobile device or tablet.

Some hospitals have set up triage stations in their parking lots to determine if a patient should proceed into the emergency room. Hospital workers are wearing protective gear as they handle each patient. There has been concern nationwide about health care providers having enough medical supplies to handle the outbreak and the city of Los Angeles has been bracing itself for the possibility of mounting COVID-19 numbers growing each day.

Northridge Hospital released the following statement:

“The safety and well-being of our patients, visitors, employees, and physicians remains our highest priority. We want to assure the community that Northridge Hospital Medical Center (NHMC) is closely monitoring all developments with COVID-19 and are prepared to identify, isolate, and treat any potential patient who seeks care at our facility.

“Northridge Hospital is a fully-operational Level II Trauma Center and Certified Pediatric Trauma Center. NHMC continues to provide high-quality, compassionate care for all who need our services. The hospital has the supplies and equipment needed to effectively manage the care of any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. We are in contact with local and state health officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our staff is following the latest guidance from these public health agencies.”

The “Stay At Home” order by the governor and mayor has been strongly repeated as crucial to be safe to stop the possibility of infecting one another.

Some people who have been exposed to the virus may show no symptoms at all but can still spread it. The message to practice social distancing by at least six feet, repeated washing of hands for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching your face has also been re-emphasized. Good hygiene, avoiding public face to face interaction is necessary to prevent this infectious illness from spreading. 

All hospitals and health care providers are emphasizing if your symptoms are severe and you are having difficulty breathing, get to an emergency room as soon as possible. They are also urging everyone to avoid going to the emergency room unless it’s absolutely necessary. This helps prevent the increased risk of what can be a fatal spreading of the disease.

Health care personnel must dedicate their resources to those who are really sick.