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86 MDG details new COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 86th Medical Group established a coronavirus disease 2019 drive-thru testing process in the Ramstein Medical Clinic parking lot, March 27, giving patients treatment from their own vehicles.

The 86th MDG created the drive-thru process to limit exposure to the community, resolving logistical issues discovered in the initial testing process.

Any patients going through the process are required to call the COVID-19 hotline at DSN 480-9001, or commercially at 06371-47-9001. Once approved, they may proceed to the main parking lot on the medical campus to receive their treatment. All other patients are encouraged to park in the Enlisted Club parking lot to enter the Ramstein Clinic.

The drive-thru process was initially developed as the group came into problems with available testing areas.

“We started to have an increase in demand for testing,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Kelley Henson, 86th MDG pediatrics flight commander and COVID-19 ops team B lead. “We started being faced with limitations in the building, in terms of how we properly isolate people. Initially, our COVID-19 clinic was in the family advocacy building but they only had four exam rooms in there. We couldn’t see a higher volume of patients in that setting.”

The team also ran into issues with the length of time for testing, Henson explained. Between testing patients, disinfecting the area and preparing for the next patient, the process could not accommodate the demand for testing.

Patients, public and medical providers benefit from the drive-thru testing service as well.

“This decreases the amount of personal protective equipment we have to cycle through because people will not have to change so frequently,” Henson said. “It also contains the family within their own vehicle, so we’re limiting exposure that way.”

The COVID-19 Hotline is available from Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is also available on the weekends from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

Patients are advised to stay home if they are sick and to call the COVID-19 Hotline for any questions.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” Henson said. “Give us a call so we can give you the right information based on your particular situation.”