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University Hospitals deploys Ohio's first fully mobile, self-contained COVID-19 testing unit

Posted at 8:59 AM, Sep 15, 2020

CLEVELAND — University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is expanding COVID-19 to underserved areas across Northeast Ohio with the state’s first fully mobile, self-contained testing center.

The pandemic has disproportionately affected minorities as Black and Hispanic communities see more cases and more deaths due to the coronavirus. These communities also have less access to testing. To address this disparity, UH will deploy the unit to underserved communities.

The mobile unit is equipped with a plexiglass booth to separate the caregiver from the patient during testing. The unit will conduct a limited number of tests at each location.

The tests will be processed at UH’s core lab with a goal of having results in less than 48 hours. If a patient does not have access to a phone or internet, medical personnel will hand-deliver positive test results.

The testing is free to residents, who will need to provide either their driver’s license, state-issued ID or their name, address and social security number at the time of testing.

“There is a gap in the ability to test for COVID-19 in the most vulnerable areas,” said Brian Rothstein, MD, Clinical Ventures Fellow, UH Ventures, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “With this mobile unit, we’re not only closing that gap by delivering our testing services, but spreading important information about the virus and how to combat it.”

UH said it’s currently evaluating communities to determine exact locations for mobile testing, which are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.