From Michelle Gaskill-Hames, RN, Senior Vice President for Health Plan and Hospital Operations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
As part of Kaiser Permanente’s comprehensive COVID-19 response plan we are piloting drive-up and other alternative sites for COVID-19 testing of Kaiser Permanente members who meet the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) criteria for testing and have a doctor’s order. The locations will enable Kaiser Permanente to safely test patients who may have COVID-19 in accordance with public health authority guidelines while providing full protection for our staff and minimizing potential COVID-19 exposure at Kaiser Permanente medical centers and in the community.
After being evaluated by a physician, Kaiser Permanente patients who meet criteria for coronavirus will receive a doctor’s order and an appointment to arrive for testing at a specially-equipped testing site. Kaiser Permanente medical staff in the appropriate protective equipment greet the patient and get necessary swabs for COVID-19, flu, and respiratory virus (RSV) testing while the patient remains in their car. We are working with county public health departments and commercial laboratories that offer COVID-testing. Patients will return home under self-isolation while awaiting test results, while monitoring any symptoms and receiving further care instructions.
Kaiser Permanente has been working on confronting highly infectious diseases for years, and we are confident we can safely treat patients who have been infected with this virus, with limited risk to other patients, members and employees. We are following all current CDC and State public health guidance, including protective equipment and protocols, for screening, testing, isolation, and treatment. As more is understood about this virus, public health guidance recommendations may change.