photo and video courtesy of Lafayette Consolidated Government
The Cajundome screening facility opened Wednesday, March 18, to begin screening for the coronavirus in Lafayette.
“We’re screening people that are just at-risk health wise,” said Dr. Foster Kordisch, a volunteer at the site.
Only individuals who are experiencing symptoms related to the virus such as coughing or shortness of breath, have a temperature greater than 100.4°, are pregnant while experiencing these symptoms or are considered high risk should visit the screening facility.
According to the Lafayette Consolidated Government, high risk individuals include health care workers who have direct contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, people living in communal settings (nursing homes, shelters) pregnant women, infants less than 10 weeks of age, and anyone 60 years or older. Individuals with immunocompromised conditions such as diabetes, active cancer, HIV, chronic lung disease or hemodialysis are also considered high risk.
Visitors to the site should bring a government form of identification and health insurance information. Visitors who do not have health insurance and have symptoms or are high risk should still report to the facility.
If a test is required, there will be no upfront charge. A charge of $50 will be collected, but this will be at a later date.
“It’s a $50 fee for the people who will actually be running the test. It’s not for us, it’s for the people running the test. As far as right now, they’re not collecting the money at the site, and you’re supposed to bring an insurance card because most insurances will cover that fee. Beyond that, yes there is a charge, but it won’t be collected at the site. And the United Way has set up a fund to help with those also,” said a representative for LCG.
United Way of Acadiana has set up the COVID-19 Response Fund to help individuals who are screened, but unable to pay the testing fee.
Along with the screening facility, there is currently a call center in place to help with the screening process. Individuals can call 311 in order to get in touch with the call center.
“We have a medical staff on standby to answer questions and help the screening process. Try 311 first if you can,” said Mayor Josh Guillory.
Individuals who visit the site will not be immediately tested for COVID-19.
“The first step is a screening process, and it’s just talking back and forth and kind of assessing people just like you would be at the regular doctor,” said Cydra Wingerter, chief administrative officer for LCG.
This process will take two to three minutes.
Participants will then be tested for the flu. If they test negative for the flu, their specimen will be sent for COVID-19 testing.
The Cajundome screening facility will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily at 444 Cajundome Blvd.
Concerning the call center, “Right now we’re working through 3 p.m. and working with some personnel to maybe extend those hours,” said Guillory.
LCG advises citizens who are not high risk or experiencing symptoms to practice social distancing and remain home.
A short explanation of the screening process at the Cajundome.