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Drive-thru screening begins at Naval Medical Center of Portsmouth

The Naval Medical Center of Portsmouth is working to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while at the same time continuing with routine medical care.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Starting March 20 and running from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., a new drive-thru screening process began at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

If you are trying to get to the emergency room with a non-COVID-19-related issue, a hospital corpsman or nurse will speak to you about what your need is.

"So if you have a child with a broken arm or something that's not in any way related to a respiratory illness, they'll send you on your way and you'll get treated like you normally would at the emergency room," said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Virginia, 2nd District).

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But if you're there specifically because you're concerned that you may have the coronavirus, your case will be handled differently.

"If you have any of the symptoms, specifically, a fever, short breath or a cough, they'll ask you to pull over for additional screenings there, and try to determine if additional measures are necessary as far as COVID-19 is concerned," said Luria, who met with hospital leaders Friday morning and then spoke with the media.

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She says what they're working to do is prevent the spread of the virus, protect the staff, and at the same time, still provide needed medical care.

"What they're trying to do is keep people coming through the door of the emergency room down, to prevent spread, to prevent having large groups of people and be able to reserve the resources of the staff and the equipment and the supplies here at the hospital," Luria noted.

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and its staff of 4,300 sailors serve 430,000 active-duty members, their families and retirees in Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina.

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