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April 4, 2020

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Bluffton will open triage and testing center at the hospital

Thanks for efforts of local groups working to set it up

Thanks to the efforts of Bluffton emergency services, village staff, and a local ad-hoc group working behind the scenes with Bluffton Hospital, Bluffton will have a COVID-19 triage and testing center. 

It will open Monday morning, March 23. 

Dr. William Kose, Blanchard Valley Health System medical officer, explained details to the Icon:

• A “triage and testing center,” established by Blanchard Valley Health System, will operate in a tented area outside Bluffton Hospital. 

• Persons who believe they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may call 419-369-2399  for a phone pre-screen conversation with a registered nurse.

• The nurse will determine if the person calling needs to be tested. 

• Determination for testing depends if that person meets specific criteria guidelines provided by the Ohio Department of Health. The testing center will only evaluate persons who have scheduled appointments.

• If testing is recommended, the nurse will set an appointment time to visit the Bluffton testing center.

• Directional signs will point to parking areas and someone will be present to assist with parking and admission to the testing center.

• The test takes an estimated time of 15 minutes. It will be administered by a physician or nurse practitioner.

• There is no charge for the test.

The Bluffton Hospital testing center will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will operate similar to the Blanchard Valley Health System testing center already operational at the Findlay campus, at 1900 S. Main St. 

Additional phone numbers for pre-screening for testing centers not in Bluffton:
• Findlay 419-423-7890
  (Blanchard Valley Health System) accepting calls 24/7

• Lima 419-226-9000
  (Allen County Public Health, Lima Memorial Health System, Mercy Health St. Rita’s) – Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Symptoms
Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, shortness of breath, fever of 100.4 degrees or greater and fatigue. 

“We want to emphasize to the community that the COVID-19 testing is by appointment only,” Dr. Kose said. “We are working together to provide quicker and more convenient access to testing so we can better protect our community.”