Physicians Immediate Care to use new 5-minute COVID-19 test

Physicians Immediate Care facilities soon will use a new Abbott Labs test that can determine if a person is positive for COVID-19 within five minutes.

In an effort to limit exposure to the coronavirus for patients, providers and clinic teams, Physicians Immediate Care will offer Curbside Care throughout its chain. It will use the Abbott Lab’s new point-of-care ID Now test on people before they enter the building.

Patients who pass the coronavirus screening will be examined in the clinic; patients who fail will be seen in their vehicles. The ID Now is a small, portable machine that Abbott developed about six years ago. Shipping of the COVID-19 tests just began this week.

Physicians Immediate Care will be the first urgent care facilities in Illinois to use Abbott’s molecular point-of-care test. It hopes to start testing within the next week at five clinics designated as testing facilities – two in Chicago, two in the Chicago suburbs and one in Rockford.

“We have the Abbott ID Now Instrument in all of our clinics, usually at least two in a location,” Physicians Immediate Care COO Todd Vang said. “We have used the machine for over three years to diagnose, flu, strep and RSV. We will screen and examine people at all of our clinics, but the follow-up COVID-19 testing will be done only in the five designated clinics [to start].”

Its closest facilities to McHenry County are in Elgin, Sycamore, Aurora, Park Ridge and Hanover Park.

Vang said Abbott is increasing up production of the tests, which are brand new.

“If the production of the tests continues to ramp up, our goal would be to deliver this testing at all of our Physicians Immediate Care clinics, 37 in Illinois and six in Indiana,” Vang said.

Physicians Immediate Care has been a partner with Abbott for several years. During the recent flu season, Physicians Immediate Care performed more than 40,000 rapid flu tests using the ID NOW technology. That experience enables Physicians Immediate Care to start testing immediately for COVID-19 at its clinics.

“Our purpose is remarkable care you can count on, when and where you need it,” said Stan Blaylock, CEO of Physicians Immediate Care. “This breakthrough technology from Abbott fits perfectly with our mission to provide safe, high-quality care and almost immediate test results to the community. Working with Abbott and our other strategic partners, our team is ready and well-equipped to take the battle against COVID-19 to the next level.”