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published on March 31, 2020 - 2:16 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Starting Wednesday, a small city block in Visalia will close to allow Kaweah Delta Healthcare to expand and improve its appointment only, drive-up COVID-19 testing.

Kaweah Delta has offered appointment only, drive-up specimen collection for individuals suspected of having COVID-19 since March 13, when it set up three tents outside of its main hospital. However, Kaweah Delta will expand its ability to collect specimens on Wednesday, as the City of Visalia closes Floral Street to foot and car traffic one block north of Kaweah Delta Medical Center. The closure will allow those approved for testing to drive down the block in their cars and park in the diagonal spaces on the street’s west side.

“We want to make this experience as easy as possible for people, many of whom are not feeling well and are anxious,” said Mary Laufer, director of nursing practice. “The street will also allow us to potentially expand testing should the need arise.”

For safety reasons, members of the public are being advised not to walk or drive up to the specimen collection area, as it is strictly for individuals who have been authorized for testing by the Tulare County Public Health laboratory, which conducts testing to determine whether an individual is positive for COVID-19.

Individuals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, which include fever and signs of respiratory illness, should contact their physician first to inquire about testing. Individuals can call 211 or Kaweah Delta’s free COVID-19 screening Hotline at 559-624-4110.

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