On Wednesday, March 18, Lafayette will begin drive-thru screening for COVID-19 at the Cajundome.
Dr. Tina Stefanski joined GMA to share more about the process and clarify who exactly should be going to be screened.
Q: Why are we screening at the Cajundome?
A: In Lafayette, as a result of the great population that we have in this parish, LCG, Lafayette General Health and Our Lady of Lourdes has decided to consolidate efforts and open a screening site at the Cajundome.
There are possibilities of opening additional sites.
Q: Who should screened?
A: It should be a very small group. The site is only for individuals in high risk groups who have symptoms. People who are 60 or older, immune compromised, on dialysis, have cancer and are immune compromised and have symptoms will be screened at the location.
The screening is not intended for people who are young and healthy or are in the high risk groups but have no symptoms.
Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and respiratory problems.
Q: How will this screening be conducted?
A: The screening operation at the Cajundome in Lafayette is a drive-thru. Individuals will be tested for the flu first. If that test comes back negative, they will then be tested for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 test takes about 5 days to come back.
Those who are screened for COVID-19 at the Cajundome will be told to quarantine at home for a period of 14 days until test results return.
Q: I live outside Lafayette Parish and am experiencing symptoms and am part of a high risk group. What should I do?
A: If you live in another parish, call your health care provider if you're in the high risk group and have symptoms. Those parishes are doing screenings in their practices as soon as they get testing supplies in.
According to a release from St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars, the site at the Cajundome in Lafayette Parish IS FOR ANYONE. It is not limited to only Lafayette Parish residents. However, you should go to the site only if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (coughing, shortness of breath and/or temperature greater than 100.4) and considered high risk. Therefore, if you experience any symptoms associated with COVID-19, call your family physician or 311 for guidance.
LCG released information Tuesday on the drive-thru screening. Jamie Angelle joined GMA to give a quick recap on what individuals can expect.
Those who think they should get screened are asked to call 311 and press 1 in order to speak to a medical professional, who will then recommend if they should get screened.
Citizens are encouraged to only go to the screening site if:
- They are experiencing symptoms of acute viral respiratory illness (coughing or shortness of breath) and/or a temperature greater than 100.4°
- They are experiencing symptoms and are pregnant or considered high-risk*
Those who are screened will be tested for the flu. If those tests come back negative, then they will be further tested for COVID-19.
Those who show up Wednesday are asked to bring a picture ID and their insurance card to be tested for the flu or COVID-19. The screening itself is free of charge.
LCG says that if a participant requires a COVID-19 test and does not have insurance, there will be a charge associated with the private lab that processes the sample collected. This fee will not be collected on site.
Testing will be limited to those with symptoms of acute respiratory illness and those at high risk of infection. Those considered high risk* will be given priority. That includes healthcare workers, pregnant women, those over the age of 60, babies age 10 weeks and younger, those living in communal environments, and those with serious health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, HIV, diabetes, and cancer. Pregnant women are also eligible to be tested.