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March 31, 2020

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Bluffton Hospital opens triage and testing center

Efforts of Bluffton emergency services, village staff, and a local ad-hoc group 

FROM BLUFFTON ICON - 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 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.”