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New Testing Program Announced – ARHS Offers New Way to Get COVID-19 Screening

On Wednesday morning, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System announced it will begin a new process for detecting potential COVID-19 coronavirus infections in the High Country.

According to Rob Hudspeth, Sr. Vice President for System Advancement at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, patients who are sick and believe they might have COVID-19 symptoms can begin the process for getting tested by an initial online screening provided by RelyMD.

RelyMD features board-certified physician visits through your computer, laptop or cell phone. ARHS employees have been using RelyMD for telehealth services for the last two years and have found it to be a unique alternative for people that cannot visit a doctor’s office.

“This is a great option for patients to have a COVID-19 screening with a medical provider from any location. It makes so much sense in a situation like this, when we’re trying to emphasize the importance social distancing,” said Hudspeth.

If the online physician feels that you have COVID-19 symptoms, you will be scheduled for a test at a drive-thru location in Watauga or Avery County. The entire test takes place without leaving the comfort of your vehicle.

The COVID-19 test will be sent to an independent lab and will likely take three to four days to return a result. You and your family will also be given information on self-care and quarantine while you await the results. If your test result is positive for COVID-19 you will be isolated for a mandatory 14-day period.

This screening was created in order to accelerate the process for getting tested, and to create a safer and more cost-effective alternative to visiting hospitals or clinics.

“We’ve been trying to operationalize this telehealth concept even before the virus arrived in the High Country. It’s a smart way to protect our community and our employees. We need to keep caregivers well, so they can take care of others. There are just so many benefits associated with this program,” said Hudspeth.

Patients can simply log on to relymd.com/covidarhs and use coupon code BEWELLARHS. The cost of the physician screening will be $49.00.

The chart below gives you the step-by-step process on how this works.

If you have any other questions, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System has set up a COVID-19 web page that you can find here.