BAMC, Wilford Hall close drive-thru COVID-19 screening, testing sites

At-home testing kits are still available

Brooke Army Medical Center medics screen patients at the BAMC COVID-19 drive-through testing site, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Aug. 6, 2021. BAMC’s drive-through testing site, located on the first floor of the parking garage, is open to Tricare beneficiaries Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. No appointment is necessary. (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards) (Jason W Edwards, Jason W Edwards)

SAN ANTONIO – The drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing sites at Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center will close on April 1st, officials announced Thursday.

BAMC launched its drive-thru site at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, where more than 76,000 people were screened or tested for the virus in the past 24 months.

The reason for the closure is due to a steady decline in the need for testing, according to BAMC. This will also allow for staff to return to supporting primary care.

“The staff worked exceptionally hard, especially during the start of the pandemic, setting up locations, equipment and supplies,” said U.S. Army Col. Elizabeth Stanley, BAMC preventive medicine chief, in a news release. “They stood firm throughout the several surges during the pandemic even when exposed to extreme weather conditions and hundreds of cars lined up in front of them.”

With the site closing, screening and testing for COVID-19 will still be available. Beginning April 4, BAMC patients can receive a test at their primary care clinic.

PCR testing will be available as well, but by appointment only. To set one up, call the Consult Appointment Management Office at 210-916-9900. Results will be posted on the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal within 72 hours.

At-home, self-test kits are also available from 8 a.m. to noon for beneficiaries at their primary care clinic on a walk-in basis, according to BAMC.

The 59th Medical Wing screening and testing site at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center saw more than 13,000 beneficiaries since Aug. 18, 2021.

“It was certainly an honor to work with so many talented medics and civilians who all gave their time and ceaseless energy to successfully complete our mission,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. William Hayes, 59th Medical Wing COVID screening operations officer in charge in a news release. “I am especially grateful for all the hard-working dedication from each individual that gave their 100 percent each and every day right by my side.”

Beginning April 4, TRICARE eligible beneficiaries can pick up at-home COVID-19 rapid diagnostic test kits in the WHASC atrium at the information desk. All beneficiaries must also present their ID card.

They can receive up to eight test kits per month, according to officials.

If you’re looking to get tested for COVID-19 at a community-based site, follow this link.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.