Barry Batey operates a lift Thursday during installation of a new drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville. The station, which will be used during the cold months, will open Nov. 4. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

WATERVILLE — Northern Light Inland Hospital is building a new, drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on its Kennedy Memorial Drive campus that will replace its current testing locations and be winterized to protect patients, staff, technology and equipment from the elements.

Hospital officials anticipate the new site, in which patients will continue to stay in their vehicles during swabbing, will open Wednesday, Nov. 4. The new site will be behind Inland Hospital, near the Inland Woods trailhead.

“Inland will discontinue routine COVID-19 car-side testing at its 246 Kennedy Memorial Drive practice and its Walk-In Care location at 174 Kennedy Memorial Drive,” according to an Inland news release. “Walk-In Care will continue to see and assess symptomatic patients as they do now as part of their regular walk-in services.”

In March, Inland opened an initial testing site in the Faith Evangelical Free Church parking lot on Kennedy Memorial Drive and later moved testing to its current sites.

The new testing site behind the hospital will serve the community seven days a week.

“We have been working diligently to select the best site for a long-term testing solution, and the site — a large parking area behind Inland Hospital by our trailhead — made a lot of sense,” said Dan Booth, Inland’s vice president of operations. “It’s still centrally located for the greater Waterville area. Along with a new location, the testing site is a more weather friendly, cost efficient, semi-permanent structure that can be repurposed in the future.”

Booth said the building may be used as a site for drive-up COVID vaccines when they become available.

Barry Batey carries building material Thursday during installation of a new drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville. The station, which will be used during the cold months, will open Nov. 4. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

Terri Vieira, president of Northern Light Inland Hospital and senior vice president of Northern Light Health, said the “response for COVID-19 has been an intense focus for many months now, and we cannot thank our staff and leaders enough for their dedication.”

“We are proud to continue to meet the needs of the community for crucial COVID-19 testing and care during this unprecedented time,” Vieira said.

At the new site behind the hospital there will be limited parking and expected vehicle traffic at the trailhead because of the project, according to hospital officials. Updates about the site will be posted at the trailhead and on Inland’s Facebook page.

Officials say they encourage the community to access the city trails at the Rummels Field location whenever possible.

Those going to the new COVID-19 testing site should turn onto the Inland Hospital campus at 200 Kennedy Memorial Drive, drive slowly past the emergency department entrance and follow the road to the left behind the hospital, toward the back of the parking lot near the Inland Woods trailhead.

A new drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Northern Light Inland Hospital on Thursday in Waterville. The station, which will be used during the cold months, will open Nov. 4. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

People who want to schedule a COVID-19 test are asked to continue to call Northern Light Health’s Screening Hotline at 844-489-1822 or contact their primary care providers, according to the release. Those seeking a test under the state order should visit the Inland Hospital website COVID-19 testing page.

All tests at the drive-thru site must be ordered before arrival. State testing is by appointment only. If patients have no computer access, they may call Inland’s screening hotline at 844-489-1822 for help with scheduling.

Those who do not have primary care providers are asked to call Inland Hospital’s Provider Finder service at 1-800-914-1409 or email [email protected].

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.