Hemet Global Medical Center drive-thru opens for COVID-19 physician-prescribed testing

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Health care workers conduct a private drive-thru COVID-19 testing site operated by Hemet Global Medical Center. The testing location is for doctor referred patients displaying symptoms of the virus and elderly patients only. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

Hemet Global Medical Center in Hemet became the first private drive-thru COVID-19 coronavirus testing center in Riverside County, bringing four drive-thru testing sites to the county since the pandemic began.

The Hemet center made the announcement Tuesday, March 31, and is now open to doctor-referred patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

As of April 3, Riverside County had four drive-thru testing centers. The other three sites are located at Lake Elsinore’s Diamond Stadium, Harvest Christian Church on Arlington in Riverside and the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio.

Health care workers conduct a private drive-thru COVID-19 testing site operated by Hemet Global Medical Center. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

With limited testing kits available in the county, only those showing symptoms of COVID-19 and the elderly with underlying health conditions are being accepted for testing at the sites.

The testing sites asked that those who feel they are suffering from the disease and the elderly should call first to make an appointment to be tested at the center. Those symptoms are fever, cough, fatigue, aching all over and difficulty breathing.

Keith Garrison, a representative from Hemet Global Medical Center, said on public media that the center was open in the Hemet and San Jacinto valley because of its large senior population, who are most prone to the infection. He said the center testing site will be closer to the seniors who may have difficulty finding transportation to other sites.

Health care workers conduct a private drive-thru COVID-19 testing site operated by Hemet Global Medical Center. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

“We are taking every possible measure to safeguard patients and staff, while continuing to provide the community with critical health care services they depend on,” Dr. Sumanta Chaudhuri, chief medical officer of Hemet Global Medical Center, said. “The dedication, talent and selflessness I am witnessing from our physicians and nurses gives me great confidence in our ability to overcome this challenge.”

The testing process takes about 10 minutes, consisting of a nose swab by a health worker. The test results are sent to a local laboratory and made available with two to three days with the patient and doctor notified. The Hemet Global testing hotline is (951) 765-4757; call from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The testing center is located at 1117 E. Devonshire Ave. with the drive-thru testing entrance located off North Weston Place, between East Devonshire Avenue and East Date Street.

Health care workers conduct a private drive-thru COVID-19 testing site operated by Hemet Global Medical Center. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

The other testing sites are located at the Diamond Stadium parking lot at 500 Diamond Court in Lake Elsinore; Harvest Christian Fellowship at 6171 Arlington Ave. in Riverside and the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio on Highway 111 and Dr. Carreon Boulevard in parking lots 5 and 5A.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.