Local healthcare systems offer COVID-19 drive thru testing

Local News

Two health systems opened drive thru COVID testing areas on Monday.


Mayo Clinic’s drive thru is located on 10th Street in La Crosse in between market and ferry street. Gundersen Health System’s is located in the lower level of the Onalaska clinic.


The drive thru method is believed to be the safest way.

“Protecting our community is bringing patients away from our clinics and hospitals,” said Mayo Clinic physician, Paul Molling. “If they believe they’re infected or they have the disease, we will screen them in their vehicles and thus keeping them out of the clinics and out of the hospitals.”

Both health systems are treating severe cases in their emergency rooms.

“Patients with more milder symptoms– so a fever, a dry cough, maybe a mild shortness of breath they can be seen here, but in order to be seen here, they need to call ahead to their healthcare provider,” said infection preventionist, Megan Meller.

The testing is currently free at both locations.

Those who get tested through Gundersen, will also be swabbed for influenza which does have a fee. Mayo sends the tests to its clinic in Rochester and expects results between 24 and 48 hours.

Gundersen sends its to the Wisconsin State Lab, which takes one to days for results once received.

So the testing for Covid-19 is a swab that would be inserted through the nose, so if anyone’s ever had influenza testing it’s going to be just the same.

Mayo says before anyone comes to the drive thru testing facility, that first they need to call to be screened and see if testing is recommended.

“I want to calm people. Both organizations have not seen any positive tests. We have been testing people, there have been people hospitalized. Thus far, we have zero accounts here in La Crosse county.”

Both organizations are well stocked with test kits.
Gundersen’s drive thru is open from 8 to 4:30 Monday through Friday. And Mayo’s is 9 to 6 Monday through Friday.

“It’s all about reducing that hump. So, you can either have a lot of cases that happen really fast or cases that happen over a slow period of time. It’s that second option that we want because what we don’t want is to over burden our health care system.”

Mayo says an Eau Claire drive through is in the works, but does not have an opening date yet.
Both organizations stress the importance of calling first and going through the nurse triage line.

Two health systems opened drive-thru COVID-19 testing areas on Monday.

Mayo Clinic’s drive-thru is located on 10th Street in La Crosse in between Market and Ferry Street. Gundersen Health System’s is located in the lower level of the Onalaska clinic.

The drive-thru method is believed to be the safest way of testing.

“Protecting our community is bringing patients away from our clinics and hospitals,” said Mayo Clinic physician, Paul Molling. “If they believe they’re infected or they have the disease, we will screen them in their vehicles and thus keeping them out of the clinics and out of the hospitals.”

Both health systems are treating severe cases in their emergency rooms.

“Patients with more milder symptoms– so a fever, a dry cough, maybe a mild shortness of breath they can be seen here, but in order to be seen here, they need to call ahead to their healthcare provider,” said infection preventionist, Megan Meller.

The testing is currently free at both locations.

Those who get tested through Gundersen, will also be swabbed for influenza which does have a fee.

Mayo sends the tests to its clinic in Rochester and expects results between 24 and 48 hours.

Gundersen sends its to the Wisconsin State Lab and expects results within 24 hours.

“The testing for COVID-19 is a swab that would be inserted through the nose, so if anyone’s ever had influenza testing it’s going to be just the same,” said Meller.

Mayo and Gundersen say before anyone comes to the drive-thru testing facility, that first they need to call to be screened and see if testing is recommended.

“I want to calm people. Both organizations have not seen any positive tests,” said Molling. “We have been testing people, there have been people hospitalized. Thus far, we have zero accounts here in La Crosse County.”

Both organizations are well stocked with test kits.

Gundersen’s drive-thru is open from 8 to 4:30 Monday through Friday.

Mayo’s drive-thru is open 9 to 6 Monday through Friday.

“It’s all about reducing that hump. So, you can either have a lot of cases that happen really fast or cases that happen over a slow period of time,” said Meller. “It’s that second option that we want because we don’t want to over-burden our health care system.”

Mayo says an Eau Claire drive through is in the works, but does not have an opening date yet.

Both organizations stress the importance of calling first and going through the nurse triage line.

Gundersen sends its to the Wisconsin State Lab, which takes one to days for results once received.

So the testing for Covid-19 is a swab that would be inserted through the nose, so if anyone’s ever had influenza testing it’s going to be just the same.

Mayo says before anyone comes to the drive thru testing facility, that first they need to call to be screened and see if testing is recommended.

“I want to calm people. Both organizations have not seen any positive tests. We have been testing people, there have been people hospitalized. Thus far, we have zero accounts here in La Crosse county.”

Both organizations are well stocked with test kits.
Gundersen’s drive thru is open from 8 to 4:30 Monday through Friday. And Mayo’s is 9 to 6 Monday through Friday.

“It’s all about reducing that hump. So, you can either have a lot of cases that happen really fast or cases that happen over a slow period of time. It’s that second option that we want because what we don’t want is to over burden our health care system.”

Mayo says an Eau Claire drive through is in the works, but does not have an opening date yet.
Both organizations stress the importance of calling first and going through the nurse triage line.

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