Asante to close its COVID-19 drive-thru test collection sites
Locations in Medford and Grants Pass affected.
After more than two years, Asante’s drive-thru COVID-19 test collection sites in Medford and Grants Pass are closing. The last day employees will collect specimens at both locations is Saturday, April 30.
Asante opened the first drive-thru specimen collection site in Oregon on March 13, 2020, and its second location four months later on July 13 in Grants Pass.
“When Asante’s leaders asked our department to open a specimen collection site when the pandemic hit, we got it up and running in a matter of days,” said Sherry Sorenson, manager of Lab Outreach Services at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. “It’s been a tough two years, and Asante truly stepped up to care for our community in a dire time of need to respond to the COVID crisis.”
In the 25 months since opening, nearly 137,000 specimens have been collected at these sites. The most specimens collected on a single day for each location was 665 on Aug. 17, 2021 in Medford and 307 on Jan. 18, 2022 in Grants Pass.
The decision to close the two sites is based on several factors. Demand for testing has greatly declined — in Medford, from an average of 135 a day in February to 37 a day in April, and in Grants Pass, from 60 a day in February to 13 a day in April.
Additionally, several other businesses within the community offer this service in Jackson County and Josephine County, and consumers have easy access to at-home rapid tests.
Employees working at the collection sites will be deployed within the health system. “Our teams who worked at these remote sites have endured some of the worst conditions, from extreme heat and cold to wildfire smoke,” Sorenson said. “They are incredibly appreciated, and we are grateful for their service and dedication to our patients and the community.”