Outdoor COVID-19 testing continues no matter the weather


KIRKWOOD, Mo. – Snow and cold may be in the forecast but the need for coronavirus testing isn’t going away. Many public COVID-19 testing sites were set up outside for an extra layer of safety.

“It’s just easier for the patients, so if they have family they don’t have to bring everyone inside. They can come, get their service, and it’s a quick drive-through service,” says Alisha Mattern, RN, the
manager of Mercy Kirkwood Respiratory Center on South Kirkwood Road.

But the demand for coronavirus testing remains high, even as the temperatures drop. The Mercy clinic has been providing outdoor testing since March and has seen as many as five hundred cars come through in a day.

“We’ve been outside the entire time in some way shape or form. Right now, our nurses are still swabbing outside in the weather, whether it’s hot or cold, whatever it might be. We still continue to provide this service,” says Mattern.

At times there have been tents and heaters, but mostly nurses say it is just best to be prepared.

“It’s best to be proactive. Checking the weather to see what you have to wear that day, because as we know it always changes,” says Kenny Adams, RN.

Adams says morale is high and the team shares laughs to get them through the long days.

“With it being cold, at least you can layer up. Unlike the summer, you can only take so much off.”

Nurses Mattern and Adams both say they expect to continue to see lines each day but they’ll be ready not matter what. We thank them.

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