COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio National Guard began operating a mass COVID-19 testing site in Columbus on Monday as the state continues to have record levels of cases and hospitalizations. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Ohio National Guard will help operate the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s new mass COVID-19 testing site

  • The new mass testing site will be open for appointments only Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays

  • The testing site will be located in the parking garage of the American Chemical Society

  • Ohio is experiencing record levels of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations

The new mass testing site will be located in the parking garage of the American Chemical Society at 2540 Olentangy River Road near the campus of Ohio State. The site will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon by appointment only.

The mass testing site will include staffing from the Ohio National Guard, which has also operated mass testing sites in Cleveland and Akron. 

The Columbus mass testing site can accommodate up to 1,000 tests per day, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center officials said. 

“We know that testing is an important tool in our battle against COVID-19,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, interim co-leader and chief clinical officer at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “We remain committed to supporting the central Ohio community and to meeting the increased demand for COVID-19 testing. At this point, our focus is testing individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and those with significant exposures to people known to have COVID-19. Knowing your COVID status can help prevent you from spreading this virus to family members, friends and others you come in close contact with.”

Any individual with an Ohio State MyChart account can self-schedule a COVID-19 test at the new CAS site. Those who do not have a MyChart account or who wish to schedule a test at another Ohio State Wexner Medical Center testing site can contact their Ohio State health care provider or the COVID Call Center at 614-293-4000.

Despite the crunch for available tests, officials from hospitals are reminding the public not to go to the emergency department to get tested for the virus. 

As of Sunday, 5,850 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout the state, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health. The current surge of hospitalizations tops the previous record of 5,308 set Dec. 15, 2020, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

The OHA splits the state into seven regions. The northeast Ohio region, which includes the Cleveland area, notes record levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU patients. As of Sunday, northeast Ohio had 1,700 people hospitalized with COVID, 358 of whom are in intensive care. A year ago, northeast Ohio peaked at 1,064 hospitalizations.

The central Ohio region had 896 COVID-19 hospital patients as of Sunday, according to the OHA, which also marks a record.