Midwest Express Clinic wants to do its part as the area and country grapples with COVID-19.
“We want to offer the antibody testing to give people the comfort of knowing whether they have developed immunity and help them get back to work and return to their daily lives,” MEC Medical Director Dr. Golsa Shahkar said. “Since we’re using the most effective test out there, we can give people that confidence.”
MEC is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week at locations in Schererville, Crown Point, Dyer, Munster, Merrillville and Hammond. COVID-19 antibody testing is available at all branches, including those in Illinois.
Each office is adequately stocked with the most accurate tests available to take on the surge of patients since testing began. Results come in three to four days.
"This is what we signed up for. Midwest Express Clinic is prepared to be here for our communities,” MEC Family Nurse Practitioner Kaitlyn Steinberg said. “We are honored to be on the front lines of this crisis and are ready to take care of our community members."
Patients must not show symptoms for a minimum of seven days for the antibody test. MEC recommends waiting for 14 days.
COVID-19 swab testing is also being done at 10 of the locations, including the Munster, Schererville, Crown Point and Merrillville offices. It’s available to anyone experiencing symptoms, as well as front-line, critical care, first responders and essential workers. MEC is doing about 300 swabs each day - about 10,000 in total, so far.
All offices are experiencing a high call volume, so patients are asked to check in online at midwestexpressclinic.com with an ID and insurance card. Most insurance is accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid.
Once patients arrive, they’re asked to stay in their vehicles and call or knock on the door when they arrive. If patients have a mask, they’re asked to wear it. But MEC will provide one at the door. Staff will run through a quick survey to determine if they can enter the building or will need curbside service.
Midwest Express Clinic is following Center for Disease Control protocols to ensure the safety of patients and staff. All tests are performed by a licensed medical practitioner wearing personal protection equipment. Doors and all surfaces are wiped down and disinfected between patients.
"The full medical team at Midwest Express Clinic is prepared and adequately supplied with PPE to be able to offer as many tests that are needed to the community," Dr. Shahkar said.
There are tents outside the buildings for drive-through and curbside care to ensure the office is not exposed to the virus.
“We’re community-based and local,” Dr. Shahkar said. “We are prepared and proud to serve our community as safely and effectively as possible.”