MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and the St. Mary’s County Health Department are working together to provide necessary testing to residents with symptoms of the coronavirus.
According to a release sent Friday afternoon by the health department, individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fever and shortness of breath, should:
• Contact their primary care provider and make an appointment to be screened. A primary care provider will evaluate you and determine if you should be tested. If you meet the criteria for testing, your provider will write a prescription for testing.
• If you do not have a primary care provider and are experiencing symptoms, call the St. Mary’s County COVID-19 Community Hotline at 301-475-4911. The health department will have nurses available to discuss your concerns and assist in coordinating testing if you need it.
• If you have trouble breathing or are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or call ahead to the hospital's emergency department to be evaluated in person.
People who do not have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath or fever should not be tested for COVID-19 — the test will not work and may give false security. The health department urges to only consider testing if a person has symptoms and think they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Those who have a prescription for testing and a valid photo ID, beginning Monday, March 16, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital is offering drive-through testing outside the Outpatient Pavilion entrance at the rear of the hospital. Testing will be offered between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Call 301-475-6142 for more information or current wait times.
Residents should remain in their vehicle and a staff member will come out to administer the test. From March 14 to 15, use MedStar Health Urgent Care, MedStar eVisit, or the Emergency Department.
To be tested for coronavirus, you must present a prescription from a medical provider or the Health Department. If you have a high fever and cough, you may come to the Emergency Department where you will be screened to determine if you meet the criteria for testing.
Test results are not immediate; results may take up to four days to become available. You will receive a follow-up call from your primary care provider or the health department.
In the meantime, anyone with symptoms and concern for COVID-19 should stay at home, avoid close contact with others, and do not use public transportation/taxis/ride-share services. Wear a facemask if you have one and are sick. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Cover your cough with a tissue. If you need medical attention, call ahead.