The Oklahoma City-County Health Department with help from a private lab has opened a drive-thru coronavirus (COVID-19) testing site in Oklahoma City.

The Bennett Event Center will now serve as a testing site for people that have a doctor’s referral and a scheduled appointment. 

For now, those in a high risk category, with symptoms, will be tested, people such as first responders, healthcare workers, those over the age of 65 and people with underlying medical conditions.

“We set up that testing site in an effort to also help our hospitals who are having large numbers of residents show up at the ER (emergency room) with symptoms,” said OCCHD spokesperson LToya Knighten. “In an ideal world we would’ve had this set up weeks ago unfortunately, we did not have the testing capacity here in Oklahoma City. We didn't have the testing capability here in Oklahoma.”

Patients, with referrals from doctors, won't have to get out of the vehicle for the test. Results will be available as quick as 48 hours from the private lab.

“Public health nurses are there on site taking the samples from individuals who have that doctor referral,” said Knighten. “We also have partnered with groups like Varity Care and OU Medicine to have nurses out there helping us with this testing site.”

It's important to remember a positive test doesn't change much. Doctors will likely tell you to rest, unless your symptoms require hospitalization.

“There really is no magical treatment out there (for COVID-19) outside of practicing self-care the way that you would with any other respiratory illness,” said Knighten.

Nurses will be at the Bennett Event Center Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for testing. Hours after that will be based on what the current availability is for COVID-19 testing kits.