MARSHALL (KMHL) – Avera Marshall says it’s moving it’s COVID-19 testing inside its Bruce Street clinic and closing the drive-up sample collection at the end of the day today.

Avera Medical Group Urgent Care physician, Dr. Timothy Mok said the value of the drive through collection location has run its course given wide community spread of COVID-19.

“Not all respiratory illnesses are COVID-19. Illnesses such as pneumonias, sinus infections, worsening of COPD/asthma, etc. are still common during a pandemic,” said Dr. Mok. “In fact, it is even more important now than ever to have these non-COVID-19 illness diagnosed sooner rather than later. By having patients see a provider either virtually or in person as part of their testing, we can ensure they get properly diagnosed, receive timely treatment and start feeling better as soon as possible.”

He is encouraging people to call Avera Marshall locally if they are experiencing symptoms and need testing.

“The outdoor collection site was a short-term approach in our response to the pandemic. We’ve been gradually transitioning this care inside and slowly reducing the hours of the collection site over the last few weeks,” said Avera Marshall Regional President and CEO Mary Maertens. “As Dr. Mok indicates we have learned a lot about COVID-19 over the last several months, and we know we can safely collect specimens inside without putting staff or patients at risk.”

Avera says care for COVID-19 is available during regular clinic hours and through urgent care.