With no sport being played and vast spaces available, stadiums are being turned into drive-through testing sites. Such plans were already announced in Philadelphia, Dublin and Jerusalem.
It was just last week that global sports came to a screeching halt and already we see first stadiums being transformed into SARS-CoV-2 testing sites. Of course this doesn't mean fields of play would be used. But, by virtue of offering vast paved spaces around and within them, stadiums make a good place to establish temporary testing locations, with option of expansion, should demand continue to rise.
On Tuesday it was confirmed that Ireland's largest stadium, GAA's Croke Park, would become a testing centre. It will serve as a drive-through location in which the patients do not step out of their cars while being tested. The lab will serve patients by appointment only, not for everyone passing by.
“Following a high-level request from the HSE today and in the national interest, Croke Park is to become a drive-thru facility for testing for Covid-19 for designated appointments,” the statement by Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) reads. “This will not be a walk-up service. The stadium layout has been identified as being suitable for facilitating this important service at this time. As soon as we have further information, we will share with you.”
It's one of the first new, temporary testing sites in norther Dublin. Ireland has seen the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases sharply increase this week, now nearing 300.
In Philadelphia so far only over 30 cases have been confirmed but that's partly because of low availability of testing kits. That's why a new testing site is being established on Wednesday outside the baseball Citizens Bank Park, just north of Lincoln Financial Field. It's one of 28 FEMA sites being set up to mitigate the negligence of previous weeks. The number of confirmed cases, along with more testing, is rapidly rising across the US, already exceeding 8,000.
Also on Wednesday mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Leon announced his city would have a similar site at Teddy Stadium. The now vacant football stadium would help test potentially infected citizens as the number of cases continues to rise, already nearing 500 in Israel.