RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After purchasing new property at 511 W. Grace Street, Daily Planet Health Services outfitted the new building into a coronavirus assessment center.
“COVID-19 disproportionately impacts medically underserved populations,” said Dr. Patricia Cook, Chief Medical Officer of Daily Planet Health Services.
Daily Planet Health Services is a non-profit that and their mission is to provide people “access to quality health services regardless of their financial, housing or insurance status.”
The new assessment center helps Daily Planet provide a service to the underserved of Richmond.
“Our COVID response was created to meet these patients at their point of entry – in a shelter, a local emergency department, or our COVID Assessment Center,” said Dr. Cook. “And then provide them a safe place to recover.”
Daily Planet’s COVID-19 testing however is not done through the state health departments testing lab but instead are done privately. This helps fit the need for the Richmond community they’re working with and it also provides a turnaround of less than 24 hours.
“We came up with our own protocol for who to test because our population is different,” added Dr. Cook, who says younger, healthy people are normally told to go home and isolate but that wasn’t the best option here. “Our people can’t go home and isolate for 14 days so we had a quicker trigger to test.”
Dr. Cook says more than 350 people have been tested at their assessment center with the majority coming back negative.
“Occasionally we’ve had positives,” said Dr. Cook. “And we’ve worked in conjunction with the health department to keep those people safe.”