/ COVID-19 Testing Available at Two Locations in Reading

Updated September 4, 2020

TESTING

Berks Community Health Center is providing COVID-19 testing for the entire community at two locations in Reading:

  • BCHC’s 838 Penn Street location, Tuesday & Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM
  • Zion Baptist Church, 225 N. Washington Street, Monday from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • You do not have to be a BCHC patient to make an appointment for a COVID-19 diagnostic test.

Testing is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  Please call ahead for screening and to register for an appointment time for testing.

To register for COVID-19 testing at either location, please call BCHC at 610-988-4838, extension 2031.

MEDICAL AND DENTAL CARE

Berks Community Health Center has been caring for patients through Telehealth and in-person visits throughout the COVID-19 emergency.  We will continue to care for you in ways that are safe for patients and staff.  To do this, we will be offering both in-person and telehealth visits to evaluate patients’ needs and provide many services. 

Telehealth is communicating with your Provider over the phone or your computer.   To see a video explaining Telehealth, click HERE for English or HERE for Spanish.

Our staff is calling patients who already have appointments scheduled to arrange for your upcoming visit.  If you have not received a call yet, or want to set up a routine or sick visit, you can call BCHC at (610)988-4838.   

If you are feeling sick, you should call BCHC first for screening and advice.

Remember, we are here for you.  But in this crisis, we want you to stay safe so please call us before you come to the health center.  The number is (610)988-4838.  

See the information below if you have questions about specific services.

For Patients For The Public

 

 

For Patients

Are your offices open?

We have staff at all four health center locations.  To lower the risk of anyone being exposed to the coronavirus, we want you to call us at (610)988-4838 instead of walking in to the office.  During the COVID-19 emergency we are using both in-person and  "telehealth" appointments - using phone or computer to see the provider - for routine and sick appointments.  This is a way to keep you and your health team safer.  

If you come to the health center in person, you will be greeted at the door and talk with staff before you  come in.  When you come in, you will be screened for symptoms and your temperature will be taken.   There are no exceptions.  Our staff will explain our current policies and determine the best way to help you with what you need.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our staff as we work together to care for you at this stressful time.

 

Are Dental services open?

BCHC Dental services have reopened for care at the Penn Street and Rockland Street locations. We have been open the entire COVID-19 time for emergencies.

We are screening all patients on the phone prior to providing direct care. If you are experiencing pain, swelling or trauma, or need dental care, please call BCHC Dental Department at (484)772-1200. Our hours of operation are Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm.

What about Pediatrics?

During this crisis, it is very important that children have their well child checkups and get their vaccinations.  Our Pediatrics team sees patients under 18 at the Rockland Street location.  Our Family Medicine providers see children at all of our locations.

We are doing everything we can to minimize the risk for our patients - children and adults - of exposure to COVID-19. 

Call first! In-person and telehealth visits are being used, depending on the child's needs. Providers will take care of newborns and healthy well-child checks in the office, to ensure that they stay on track with vaccinations and checkups.  Some acute or sick visits can be handled with telehealth, and others will require an in-office visit.  Your care team will decide when you call which is most appropriate.

For Pediatric care, call (610)988-4838. 

 

 

 

Can I keep my scheduled appointment?

Call first! You should call the health center before you come for your regular routine appointment.  Call 610-988-4838.

Our staff will talk with you over the phone and will confirm either an in-person visit or a "telehealth" visit - over the phone or computer - with your Provider.   

What if I think I am sick?

Call first!  If you are feeling sick you should call BCHC before walking in.  Call 610-988-4838 and ask to speak with the nurse at your location.  She will ask you about your symptoms and tell you what you should do.  If you have to leave a voice message, please include your name and date of birth and a phone number you can be called at.  The nurse will call you as soon as possible.  

Can you test me for COVID-19?

BCHC offers COVID-19 diagnostic testing at our 838 Penn Street location, Tuesday & Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM. 

We offer the testing at Zion Baptist Church, 224 N. Washington Street in Reading, on Mondays from 10 AM to 4 PM

Testing is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Call first to answer a few screening questions and register for a COVID-19 test.

The number to call is 610-988-4838, extension 2031.

If you are not sure if you should be tested, we can set up a screening Telehealth visit if you have symptoms such as fever, cough, trouble breathing, rash, vomiting or diarrhea.  If you are feeling sick, a BCHC Provider can see you via Telehealth and can advise you if you need to go for COVID-19 testing and provide an order for the test.

What is the policy on Visitors coming to my visit with me?

To do our part in reducing the spread of COVID-19, this is the policy on Visitors coming to an in-person appointment with you:

  • Each patient may only be accompanied by one Visitor.
    • The Visitor must remain in the waiting area or outside the facility unless they are a support person because:
      • the patient is a minor (under 18);
      • the patient has a disability;
      • the Visitor is the patient's communicator.
  • No switching of support persons back and forth between the waiting room and exam rooms will be allowed.
  • For pediatric patients, a parent or a legal guardian may accompany the child.  
  • We are asking that you do not bring other children or siblings along to the visit.
What else is BCHC doing for protection from COVID-19?

First and most important - we are instructing everyone to call first before you come to the health center.  If you are instructed to come to the office, everyone will be screened for temperature and symptoms before entering a BCHC location, in accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  Screening will occur at the entry point for each BCHC practice location. 

We are also taking the following precautionary measures:

  • Limiting visitors coming with patients to one person.  That person must wait in the waiting room or outside unless they are needed for a support activity during the visit.
  • All activities that invite community members to a BCHC facility for events or educational programs are cancelled until further notice.
  • Vendor visitation to BCHC practices will be restricted.
  • Any delivery of food or other items from outside sources must be dropped off at the front desk ONLY.

Your health, safety and comfort are our top priorities. These restrictions will be continuously evaluated as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

 

 

 

For The Public

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are fever, cough and shortness of breath.  There are also some other symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19, such as rash, diarrhea or vomiting.

BCHC patients please click on the button above which says, "What if I think I am sick?" to find out what to do if you have symptoms before you come to the health center.  If you are not a BCHC patient, please check the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, and for the steps to follow: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

Where can I get good information?

The most up-to-date information and guidance about COVID-19 can be found at the websites of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PADOH).  

What will happen when I call my doctor?

In order to protect patients and staff BCHC and many other outpatient healthcare providers are instructing all patients to call first before walking in to the office, even if you have an appointment scheduled.  Staff will talk with you about your needs, and sometimes they will first schedule  a "telehealth" visit. This is a visit with your provider which is over the telephone or a computer.  Medicare, Medicaid and all insurances are authorizing visits to be conducted this way, during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Providers know that not every problem can be taken care of over the phone or with computer video.  That's why you should call the office before coming in.  If your provider feels you need to be seen in the office in person, they will arrange for that appointment. 

 

Should I get tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.  At BCHC, our providers can have a telehealth visit with a patient to screen for symptoms, travel and any exposure to another person with COVID-19.  If the provider determines you should be tested for COVID-19, they can write the prescription for the test that a screening site will require.