Drive-Thru Testing Center

A Safe & Convenient Option for Various Tests

Our mobile testing site has performed so well, we decided to give it a permanent location as a Drive-Thru Testing Center in the northwest corner of the hospital’s North Parking Lot!

We are always working hard to provide our communities with the safest options for health services. Our Drive-Thru Testing Center will help limit exposure and provide you with a convenient option for testing without leaving the safety and comfort of your vehicle.

Here’s a list of tests that can be performed at our Drive-Thru Testing Center:

On Select Days/Times Only:

Blood Pressure Testing

      • 1st Thursday of every month, from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
      • Get your blood pressure and blood sugar checked for FREE
      • No Appointment Necessary
A blood pressure test measures the pressure in your arteries from your heart. This test is used to determine if a patient has high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) or to monitor a patient that’s already been diagnosed with elevated blood pressure, high blood pressure or low blood pressure (hypotension).

How a blood pressure test works:
      • Using a pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer), a blood pressure reading is taken.
      • The pressure cuff is positioned around the upper arm before being inflated, either manually with a pump or electronically.
      • After inflation, the pressure cuff compresses the brachial artery, briefly stopping the blood flow.
      • The pressure cuff is then released gradually while the provider performing the test listens with a stethoscope or uses electronic technology for the reading.
Your blood pressure reading contains two numbers, your systolic blood pressure and your diastolic blood pressure:
      • Systolic blood pressure (which is the top number of the reading) gives the amount of pressure blood is putting on your artery walls as your heart pumps.
      • Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of the reading) gives the amount of pressure your blood is putting on your artery walls between your heart beats (or when your heart is at rest).

Blood Sugar Testing

      • 1st Thursday of every month, from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
      • Get your blood pressure and blood sugar checked for FREE
      • No Appointment Necessary
      • A twelve-hour food and beverage fast is recommended for more accurate blood sugar test results.

What is a blood sugar test?
A blood sugar test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. A medical provider uses this test to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes, or, people with diabetes can also use this test to help manage their condition.

Blood sugar tests can tell you or your medical provider:

      • Whether your blood sugar levels are high or low
      • A change in your diet or exercise is needed
      • The effectiveness of your diabetes medications or treatment

What does a blood sugar test do exactly?
Your body uses carbohydrates that are found in foods such as grains and fruits and makes them into glucose. Glucose, a form of sugar, is one of your body’s main sources of energy.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to seizures or a coma if left untreated.

High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can lead to ketoacidosis—a serious, life-threatening condition that’s often a risk for people with type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis can happen when your body starts using only fat for fuel and over a long period of time, can greatly increase your risk for neuropathy (nerve damage), in addition to, heart, kidney and eye diseases.

There is low to no risks associated with blood sugar tests. You may feel soreness, swelling and bruising at the puncture site but this should subside within a day.

In order for a blood sugar test to be accurate, a person should fast from food and beverages for twelve hours before the test.

Talk to your primary care provider if you have questions about high blood sugar testing or if you think you are at risk.

Cholesterol Screening

      • 2nd Thursday of every month, from 7:00 a.m. – 9 a.m.
      • Fee for screening is $25.00 (Payment can be made at the time the appointment is made. Otherwise, the payment must be made at the time of the appointment by cash or check only.)
      • This screening is by appointment only. Please call (815) 664-1486 to register for your screening.
      • A twelve-hour food and beverage fast is recommended for more accurate cholesterol screening results.

What is a Cholesterol Test?
Also known as a lipid profile or lipid panel, a cholesterol test is a blood test that measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in the cells in your body. Your body needs cholesterol to mak
e hormones, vitamin D and other substances used to aid with digestion of foods. Your body produces all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol is also found in various foods from animal sources, such as egg yolks, meat and cheese.

When you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can combine with other substances in your blood to create plaque. Plaque sticks to the walls of your arteries and can lead to coronary artery disease (narrowed or blocked arteries throughout your body).

Why is a Cholesterol Test Performed?
High cholesterol often presents no signs or symptoms. A cholesterol test is performed to figure out whether your cholesterol is high and can help determine your risk for developing heart attacks and other forms of heart disease or diseases of the blood vessels.

A cholesterol test measures four types of fats (or lipids) present in your blood:

Total Cholesterol: The sum of cholesterol present in your blood.

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol: Referred to as “good” cholesterol, this type of lipid carries away LDL (bad) cholesterol. Therefore, this typw of lipid helps keep arteries open for blood to pump more freely through them.

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol: Referred to as “bad” cholesterol, too much of this type of lipid in your blood causes plaques to buildup in your arteries, reducing blood flow. Rupturing of these plaques can occur, which leads to a heart attack or stroke.

Tryglycerides: When you consume food, your body transforms calories it doesn’t need into a form of fat in the blood, called triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides are often associated with being overweight, eating too many sweets or drinking too much alcohol, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle or having diabetes with elevated blood sugar levels.

Who Should Be Tested for Cholesterol?
Adults who are at an average risk for developing coronary artery disease should have their cholesterol checked every five years at a minimum.

More regular testing may be necessary if a person’s  initial test results indicate abnormalities, or if he or she already has been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, are taking cholesterol-lowering medications or are at a higher risk for developing coronary artery disease due to the following reasons:

      • You have a family history of either high cholesterol or heart attacks
      • Are considered overweight
      • Are sedentary
      • Have been diagnosed with diabetes
      • Have a poor diet
      • Smoke Cigarettes
      • Are a male over the age of 45 or a female over the age of 55

Someone with a history of heart attacks or strokes should have regular cholesterol testing performed to help monitor the effectiveness of treatments. 

Talk to your primary care provider if you have questions about cholesterol testing or if you think you are at risk.

Doctor’s Order Required: 

COVID-19 Swab

Hours:
Monday – Friday  |  8:30am – 5pm
Weekends  |  8am – 1pm

An order from your doctor or medical provider is required to be tested.

What to Expect During the Nasal Swab Test for COVID-19?
The medical professional performing the nasal swab test will insert a long stick (resembling a very long Q-tip) with a very soft brush on the end up your nose and twirl it around for a few seconds in each nostril. The soft bristles will collect a sample of secretions that will be used for testing. The swab must be inserted fairly deep into the nasal passageway because the cells and fluids need to be taken from the entire passage that connects the base of the nose to the back throat to get the best specimen.

Our body is not accustomed to having a foreign object in this area. Some very odd sensations are the result of this. It activates what is called the lachrymal reflects, which simply means it will cause your eyes to tear up. In fact, this is a good indication it was performed correctly. The test is not necessarily painful, but it is somewhat uncomfortable. Again, the test is over fairly quickly so these sensations don’t last long.

Influenza (Flu) & Strep Swabs

Hours:
Monday – Friday  |  8:30am – 5pm
Weekends  |  8am – 1pm

An order from your doctor or medical provider is required to be tested.

The form of influenza (flu) test that St. Margaret’s uses is called a “a rapid flu test,” or more specifically, rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs). This test can identify whether there is a presence of influenza A and B viral nucleoprotein antigens in respiratory specimens collected. The test produces either a positive or negative result.

Why is a Rapid Flu Test Ordered? 
The reason a rapid flu test is ordered is because symptoms resulting from the flu are very similar to those experienced from many other health and medical conditions. Thus, a rapid flu test allows your medical provider to determine whether you’re infected with influenza or from some other condition requiring different treatment. Bacterial infections and viral infections often share similar symptoms, however, medications such as antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections—not viral. Antibiotics should never be prescribed for a non-bacterial infection and can have adverse effects. The rapid flu test’s ability to rule out other conditions can allow you to receive a more accurate diagnosis and be prescribed the most effective/safest options for treatment.

How is the Test Performed? 
The test itself is very quick and involves a medical professional using a long swab to collect a specimen sample from the nose or back of the throat.

What is Strep?
The most common reason a sore throat develops is because of viruses. However, strep throat is actually a bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils that is caused by a bacteria called group A Streptococcus (or group A strep). Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can easily be spread from person to person. Not all people infected will experience symptoms or appear ill. Infected persons can spread the strep bacteria by coughing or sneezing.

People contract the illness for many reasons:

        • Breathing in respiratory droplets containing the bacteria
        • Touching a surface or object contaminated with respiratory droplets containing the bacteria and then touching the mouth or nose
        • Drinking from the same glass or eating from the same place as an infected individual
        • Touching sores on the skin cased by group A strep

Common symptoms of strep infection include:

        • Sore throat that often comes on suddenly
        • Pain when swallowing
        • Fever
        • Red, swollen tonsils (many times with white patches or pus)
        • Tiny, red spots on the roof of the mouth (called petechiae)
        • Swollen lymph nodes on the front of the neck

Some people may also experience a headache, stomach aches/pain, nausea or vomiting. These symptoms are especially common in children. A rash called scarlet fever may also display on some people infected with strep.

Rapid Strep Test:
A medical professional will not be able to definitively determine whether a person’s symptoms are caused by group A strep just by examining the patient’s throat. A rapid strep test is performed to detect the presence of the bacteria.

The test itself is performed by swabbing the throat and running a test on the swab. The test produces either a negative or positive result and quickly shows whether group A strep is the culprit. If the test is positive, a medical professional will likely prescribe antibiotics to treat the strep throat. If the test result is negative, but the medical professional still suspects strep (a false negative), then he or she may order a strep culture swab. As with any culture, a strep culture will take some time to determine whether ground A strep bacteria grows from the swab.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Hours:
Monday – Friday  |  8:30am – 5pm
Weekends  |  8am – 1pm

An order from your doctor or medical provider is required to be tested.

What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?
RSV is a common, highly contagious, virus. Most children experience an RSV infection by the age of two. For most young children and infants, the infection acts much like the common cold with generally mild symptoms. However, some that are infected with RSV can have very serious, and sometimes life-threatening, complications that include pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

The symptoms of RSV infection mimic those experienced with the common cold, including a runny nose and cough. The following symptoms, however, can be cause for concern. Contact your child’s primary care provider if your child experiences:

      • Wheezing
      • Fever
      • Unusual behavior, such as becoming overly upset or inactivity
      • A sever cough, or one that that produces yellow, green or gray mucus
      • Trouble breathing or breathing faster than normal
      • Refusing feedings (regardless of breastfeeding or bottle-fed babies)
      • Signs of dehydration (lack of tears when crying, little to no urine output and/or cool, dry skin)

If your child or baby is lethargic, overly tired, has fast breathing or has a blue tint to their lips or fingernails, call 911 or get to the nearest ER immediately. 

RSV Test:
An RSV test is used to detect the virus that causes RSV infection. The type of test that is used at St. Margaret’s to detect RSV infection is a swab test. A medical professional uses a long swab to collect a sample specimen from the nose or throat. Minor discomfort or gagging may occur when the swab test is performed, but there is little to no risk involved with RSV testing.

The test produces either a positive or negative result. A negative test will likely indicate a different type of virus is causing the symptoms experienced.

Respiratory Array (RA)

Hours:
Monday – Friday  |  8:30am – 5pm
Weekends  |  8am – 1pm

An order from your doctor or medical provider is required to be tested.

Respiratory Array Test:

Many respiratory illnesses present with similar symptoms. Often, it can be difficult for medical professionals to identify what specific pathogen is causing the upper respiratory infection. As such, laboratory testing can be imperative when determining the best treatment to use.  The Respiratory Infection Array Test is a comprehensive test that can be used to detect “an array” or multiple respiratory illnesses—several viral and several bacterial. These are the illnesses the test can help identify:

      • Adenovirus
      • Coronavirus (EXCLUDING COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2)
      • Human Metapneumovirus
      • Rhinovirus/Enterovirus
      • Influenza A (Flu A)
      • Influenza B (Flu B) 
      • Parainfluenza Virus 1-4
      • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
      • Bordetella Pertussis
      • Chlamydophila Pneumoniae
      • Mycoplasma Pneumoniae

This Respiratory Array Test is performed using a nasal swab to collect a specimen from the back of the nasal and throat. The test may cause brief discomfort and tearing of the eyes, but otherwise carries very little to no risks.

Additional tests and other medical services may also become available.