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Boone Memorial Hospital tests nearly 350 in free drive-thru COVID-19 saliva based testing clinic

In partnership with the Governor's Office, WV National Guard and WVDHHR, Boone Memorial Hospital piloted the very first community saliva based COVID-19 drive-thru testing in the State. The event was held Friday, October 23rd and Saturday, October 24th at the former Magic Mart building located in Danville, WV.

"Overall, the pilot was successful with a total of 334 patients submitting saliva specimens," said Angie Christian, Executive Director of Ancillary Services. "Since it was a pilot program, the entire process was a learning experience for all involved," she said. "However, it was a great event and one we will consider repeating in the future."

While Boone Memorial has been offering weekly COVID-19 drive-thru testing on State Street in Madison, the hospital wanted to expand its efforts.

"With the start of school, some of our community members have grown concerned," said BMH Chief Executive Officer, Virgil Underwood. "Our goal is to ensure testing is wide-spread and easily accessible for our patients and the community. This free event was another way we could do that."

The event offered a saliva test, versus the nasal swab test.

"The saliva test is easier to perform and more comfortable" said Underwood. "You simply spit into a cup versus submitting to a nasal swab."

Both the saliva and swab tests work by detecting genetic material from the coronavirus. Both tests are very specific, meaning that a positive test almost always means that the person is infected with the virus. However, both tests can be negative, even if a person is proven later to be infected (known as a false negative). This is especially true for people who carry the virus but have no symptoms.

"Test Results were not sent to BMH," said Christian. "They were sent to the patients directly from Vault Health Laboratory via the email address they provided when registering at the drive-thru event. Patients who did not provide an email address when registering at the drive-thru event received a phone call directly from Vault Health Laboratory with their results," she explained.

Questions regarding results can be directed to Vault Health Laboratory by calling 212-880-5494.

Boone Memorial Hospital will continue offering nasal swab testing weekly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the parking lot located adjacent to its Rural Health Walk-in Clinic on State Street in Madison. Drive-Thru Testing will run from 9am-1pm.

For more information on the coronavirus and testing, visit our website at

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