Doctor referral needed for local pop-up coronavirus testing

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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) We are officially seeing pop-up testing centers hitting our region. Our Ike Bendavid learned more about this and has details on who can get tested.

You can't just show up to get tested. You have to have a referral to get tested at the pop-up center at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction. But health officials say they hope this will be a fast pass to get people tested.

Monday, a new pop-up testing center for those getting tested with coronavirus opened at the Expo. The goal-- to not have people go straight to the emergency room or urgent care.

"This is for referral patients that are referred to us that need testing. It's to alleviate stress on our emergency department and urgent care," said Jonathan Cullen, a critical care paramedic.

Patients must have a referral to get tested at this location. To get referred-- talk with your primary care physician.

"This really just gives us an opportunity to alleviate some of the pressure on our departments," Cullen said.

Here's how it works. Patients will pull in and be waiting in their cars with their windows rolled up. The only time the windows will be rolled down is when they are getting tested. They will be greeted by health officials who will be in proper protective equipment. The whole process will take 5-10 minutes.

"They are going to pull up and there are going to be some instructions on a card and we will verify their information. Once that occurs, we will send them through and they will get a nose swab and that will get sent off for testing," Cullen said.

The testing is only being conducted by the state right now. Results take about a day or two.

Again, to be clear, you can only get tested there if you are referred.