SoutheastHEALTH introduces rapid coronavirus testing

SoutheastHEALTH introduces rapid coronavirus testing
Rapid COVID-19 testing is now available at SoutheastHEALTH. (Source: KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Many people wait days or even weeks to receive coronavirus test results, but new technology can give results in a matter of minutes.

SoutheastHEALTH currently is using this rapid testing at four of their clinics in southeast Missouri.

“Point of Care is able to expedite that result in a faster manner, five minutes for a positive, 15 minutes for a negative,” Lauren Thomas said.

SoutheastHEALTH Lab Director Lauren Thomas said it’s as simple as putting a swab into a machine. She said the testing method is less complex and can be offered in a clinic instead of in the lab.

“The clinics that we are currently live with this technology is our Jackson Convenient Care location, Southeast Missouri Campus Health and we also have these available in our hospitals at SoutheastHEALTH Cape and SoutheastHEALTH Stoddard,” Thomas said.

She said they hope to have the new technology in all of their primary care clinics by mid-September.

“There’s not any one vendor that’s being able to keep up with the demand so we are now available to offer this as another option and so we still offer our other platforms,” Thomas said.

To do the point-of-care testing, you need to meet certain criteria involving what kind of symptoms you’re experiencing and if you’ve traveled to any hotspots recently.

“Not everybody meets the criteria to do a rapid point of care so we still have a lot of demand to be brought back to the lab but you’re still having a lot labs that are having to be waiting for three to four days,” Thomas said.

Leaders at Southeast said the goal is to benefit patients and this is one, faster step in that direction.

Lauren Thomas also said the hospital is considering using the new saliva COVID-19 test option that Washington University just developed, as well.

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