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Docs Urgent Care in West Hartford to Hold Drive-Through Rapid COVID-19 Testing

From left: Erika Foster, Dr. JD Sidana, Mayor Shari Cantor, Barbara Monteiro outside Docs Urgent Care. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Docs Medical Group, which is opening a new location in West Hartford in July, will hold a drive-through COVID-19 testing event on Sunday, June 28 with results returned quickly, and will also offer testing at the clinic.

From left: Erika Foster, Dr. JD Sidana, Mayor Shari Cantor, Barbara Monteiro outside Docs Urgent Care. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

Docs Medical Group will be opening a new urgent and primary care facility at 983 New Britain Ave. in West Hartford in early July, but as part of their “soft opening” will hold a drive-through COVID-19 testing event, offering the town’s first rapid testing experience.

The drive-through testing is being held in partnership with the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District, and will be open to all, including individuals who are not experiencing symptoms.

Docs Medical Group owner and CEO Dr. JD Sidana said, “At this point in time testing should be open to anyone who has had prior exposure to COVID-19,” which could be 50-60% of the overall population.

Testing is recommended for anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed, Sidana said, including those who have attended mass gatherings. He also advises testing for anyone who is about to have contact with those who are in a high risk group or large numbers of people, or those who are preparing to return to work.

Those who work in the restaurant industry are good candidates for testing, he said.

“There are a large number of people who are asymptomatic,” Sidana said, and symptoms can be masked in many ways. “A lot more people should be tested than are getting tested.”

The drive-through event will be held on Sunday, June 28, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The test is available to anyone ages 2 and up. Pre-registration is required and now available online at www.docsmedicalgroup.com/testnow.

Docs is using a nasal swab test, and results are determined quickly through use of the Sofia 2 analyzer, manufactured by Quidel. The sample matures in a cartridge, and then is read rapidly, in about 12-15 seconds in the Sofia 2 analyzer, Sidana said. The process is different from Abbott’s ID Now test, where the sample must stay in the machine for a longer period of time while it matures.

Docs Medical Group will be deploying four of the Sofia 2 machines at the drive-through event, Sidana said, and that will allow them to test a large number of people. The results will be entered into a portal where those who have been tested should be able to access their results the same day. They have committed to calling participants with their results within 24-48 hours.

For those who have insurance, COVID-19 testing is 100% covered, and is not subject to copayment or deductible. Insurance cards (if applicable) should be presented, and all are required to have government identification. Testing is covered through the CARES Act for those who do not have insurance.

When the office opens in early July, Docs Urgent Care will be offering the rapid COVID-19 test as well as antibody testing. Because antibody tests require drawing blood, they are not available on a drive-through basis.

Antibody test results will be available in two to three days, Sidana said.

Docs Urgent Care is located at 983 New Britain Ave. in the PriceRite Plaza.

Anyone in need of additional care or who would like to speak with a provider after receiving results, can book an appointment with DOCS Medical Group, www.docsmedicalgroup.com, or by calling or texting 203-871-0640.

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