W.O. Walker Building in University Circle
With Christmas just around the corner, the Ohio Department of Health has announced that it will open a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site at the W.O Walker Building garage in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood starting today.
Both the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals are supporting the site, though it will be staffed by the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio National Guard, whom Gov. Mike DeWine summoned earlier this week to assist with the Covid outbreak in Ohio. The drive-thru site will be in operation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday this week, but will be closed on Christmas Day.
According to a press release, those seeking tests do not need to make an appointment, but do need to register online prior to arrival at the following site: https://mako.exchange/scheduler/select-state/
(Select “Ohio” and then search for the W.O. Walker Center location.)
As in the past, tests are free and open to all. Results from the PCR tests can be expected in 2-3 days. Masks are required except when testing is underway.
The announcement of the Walker Building site comes amid a Covid surge in Northeast Ohio. According to the New York Times, Cuyahoga County currently ranks third among all counties in the United States for new Covid cases per capita. Only Tomkins County, New York, and Pike County, Illinois, had more new cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks.
Local hospitals are dealing with a crush of patients in their intensive care units as well, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated. The hospitals urged residents to get vaccinated, boosted, to continue wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in a full-page Plain Dealer ad Sunday
Anecdotal evidence suggests that pharmacies in Cleveland and the inner-ring suburbs have largely sold out of at-home Covid tests, and local library systems are unloading their shipments of free tests on a first-come, first-serve basis. Euclid Public Library received 1,000 PCR tests at 11 a.m. yesterday and were out by 2 p.m. Cleveland Public Library received 2,000 later in the day and can be expected to run out shortly.
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