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Drive-thru testing at Cape Gate
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 18: The contents of a COVID-19

A unique Covid-19 mobile “drive-through” testing service in the basement parking of Mediclinic Cape Gate opened on Tuesday 17 March.

It is one of only three Mediclinic mobile testing stations in the Western Cape, the other two being in the city and Somerset West.

This is how it works: As you enter the main boom gate, signage will direct you the to the basement parking lot below the day clinic. In the parking lot, you are instructed to remain in your vehicle. You will note a white gazebo, Madalie Groenewald, Mediclinic Cape Gate spokesperson explains.  

“A nurse will approach you at your car to do a screening assessment, which consists of a questionnaire. Only if you comply with the criteria, will you be tested,” she says.

To fast-track the process you may complete the assessment via the Mediclinic website or helpline (0860 240024) before you visit the test station. 

Testing in the form of a mouth swab takes place in a private cubicle and testing procedures complies with NICD regulations. 

Groenewald says you have to present with certain signs and symptoms to comply with testing. 

Symptoms include high fever, body aches, shortness of breath and coughing. 

“After the test, you are sent home to self-isolate until your test results return. We will contact you with the test results and depending on the outcome, advise you on further procedures,” says Groenewald.

At present, the mobile station is testing about 60 people per day and has not as yet had a positive case.

The current turnaround time at this facility is about three days. 

The cost of the test is approximately R1000 per person and is strictly limited to the costs of pathology.

“Mediclinic is not profiting from these tests at all. Only laboratory costs are covered. But it is important for people to know that they can go for free testing at the NICD. The hospital has conducted thousands of tests and the current turnaround time at the hospital is about six days.”

Persons taking the test at Mediclinic will have to claim it back from their medical aids if permitted by their schemes.

“We are not set up to facilitate immediate claims. And payments can only be made with bank cards to avoid the handling of money,” says Groenewald.

The mobile test station is open from Mondays to Sundays from 08:00 to 17:00.

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