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With a statewide stay-at-home order put into effect in March, consumers have been getting used to drive-thru services — restaurants remaining open are drive-thru or pick-up only, grocery stores are scheduling vehicular pick-ups days in advance.


And now, Axtell Clinic is moving to a drive-thru model as well. Those feeling sick still make an appointment with the primary care clinic — but they stay in their cars or see a doctor virtually.


“We are now seeing all sick patients in their cars,” said an email sent to clinic patients Monday. “Call our office first before coming in if you think you might have a fever or cough. We would be happy to take care of you in your car instead of inside the clinic.”


It is not a full-blown COVID-19 drive-thru testing site. Kansas Department of Health and Environment prescreening from COVID-19 testing remains in place as KDHE works to get more testing supplies, expand capacity and switch to a “rapid test.” Expanded testing, according to KDHE secretary Lee Norman, will happen when enough supplies are in place.


Axtell clinic is also adding a Saturday afternoon drive-thru clinic under the clinic awning on the campus of Newton Medical Center, 700 Medical Center Drive.


Those are some of the most visible changes the clinic has made in the fight against COVID-19. The clinic has started virtual visits with doctors — patients can use a computer or smart phone for a visit with their doctor.


The clinic also announced hourly sanitization of highly touched surfaces in the fight against COVID-19.