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OSU Wexner Medical Center to close drive-through COVID-19 testing site

Signage at the CAS COVID-19 testing site
Trecia Pannell

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center announced Wednesday it will close its drive-through COVID-19 testing site at CAS at the end of the day Thursday.

Manned by Ohio State and National Guard members, the site opened on January 3 and processed more than 16,000 tests.

During the height of the omicron surge, the testing site on Olentangy River Road handled more than 1,000 tests per day.

Demand has declined, and hospital system officials say the time has come to shut it down.

Christine Harsh, director of ambulatory services at Wexner Medical Center, praised the dedication of employees and National Guard members who staffed the site.

"They understood the purpose of the testing station and the value that that provided. So really high morale. They were all very pleased to be there doing that work," Harsh said.

She noted Wexner Medical Center ran its first COVID-19 test two years ago this week.

"It's just unbelievable that it's been a whole two years that we've been doing this work, but [it] really feels like we're in a good place now moving to a new phase of the pandemic," she said.

Beginning Friday, all symptomatic and exposure testing will be offered at various locations across the medical center as part of normal outpatient operations.

Patients and employees with an Ohio State primary care provider can self-schedule a COVID through their MyChart account or by calling their primary care provider’s office to schedule an appointment.

Those without an Ohio State primary care provider can call 614-293-4000 to schedule a COVID-19 test at an Immediate Care locations.

Patients should not go to the ER to be tested.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.