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WEST PALM BEACH – Starting on Monday, March 16 at 10 a.m., FoundCare, Inc., a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center, is setting up an outpatient drive-through testing station in the parking lot of its location at 2330 South Congress Avenue in West Palm Beach to test Palm Beach County residents for COVID-19. The location will be the county’s first to offer the free drive-through service.

“Dozens of patients experiencing symptoms have been referred to FoundCare over the past week by the health department, private providers, and other agencies throughout the county,” said Yolette Bonnet, CEO for FoundCare.  “We know that the best way to control COVID-19 is to keep it contained. We consulted with our board member, Dr. David Dodson, an Infectious Disease specialist; Dr. Leslie Diaz, FoundCare Medical Director for Infectious Disease; and our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Oneka Marriott to develop our strategy. In order to safeguard FoundCare patients as well as staff in the main location of the health center, while serving those seeking COVID-19 virus testing, we made the decision to set up a drive-through testing site.”

Following Monday’s launch between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the service will continue on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and hours may be adjusted based on need and supplies. Testing will be conducted by trained FoundCare staff members. 

Prior to being tested, prospective patients need to call 561.967.0365. During the call, the patient will be asked basic screening questions about their symptoms and other criteria for the test. The phone line will be manned for screening and appointments weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Patients will be asked if they meet any of the following testing criteria:

  • Someone who has been in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 case
  • Fever or cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • International travel in the last 14 days with or without symptoms above
  • Cruise travel within the last 14 days with or without symptoms above
  • Airline travel in the last 14 days with or without symptoms above
  • Attendance at a group gathering where an outbreak for COVID is under investigation, with or without symptoms above

According to Dr. Marriott, symptoms for COVID-19 can range from mild to severe. “Patients typically present with fever, cough and possibly shortness of breath,” said Dr. Marriott. “Most cases have presented with mild symptoms. Patients with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, immunocompromised states, or those greater than 65 years-of-age with fever or symptoms of cough or shortness of breath may experience more severe and life-threatening outcomes of COVID-19 infection.”

At the testing site, patients must have their patient code and an appointment in order to be tested. No one will be tested without a prior appointment. While the patient remains in their car, patients will need to provide proper identification and contact information, including a valid phone number. FoundCare staff will safely store the patient’s information, collect the specimen using a test kit, and send the specimen to a qualified lab. 

According to Dr. Marriott, samples will be sent to either a commercial lab (e.g. Quest, LabCorp) or the Florida Department of Health Bureau of Public Health Laboratories. The patient will be instructed to self-quarantine at home while waiting for the test results, which can take from 48-72 hours.  FoundCare staff will contact the patient with the results as soon as they are available.  While FoundCare is performing the test for free, the laboratories may generate a separate bill for patients for that service.

“People have always looked to FoundCare for their healthcare needs, and for the healthcare needs of their loved ones,” said Bonnet. “We are facing a major health challenge, and FoundCare continues to be committed to its patients and the community-at-large. FoundCare will continue to provide access to care, both during the good times, and during the most difficult.”

Recently, FoundCare had to cancel its annual fundraiser as a result of the COVID-19 virus. The “A Votre Sante” (To Your Health)” tropical dinner was scheduled for March 29, 2020.

“Although the cancellation of our event will negatively impact our organization’s fundraising for much needed donations, we need all staff on the front lines at this moment,” said Bonnet. “As a healthcare organization, it’s critical we serve the public and protect our donors. We are moving forward with this testing initiative in an effort to continue meeting our mission of fulfilling unmet medical and social service needs of Palm Beach County residents.”

FoundCare, Inc., celebrating 35 years in the community, uses a sliding fee scale based on household size and income, and no one is turned away for inability to pay. With several locations throughout Palm Beach County, FoundCare offers services such one-stop services as pediatric and adult primary care, new women’s health services, chronic disease management, behavioral health services, dentistry, pharmacy, laboratory services and x-rays.

For more information about FoundCare visit or call 561-HEALTHY (432-5849). To make a testing appointment, call 561.967.0365 for a required appointment and patient code.