CoxHealth Begins In-House Testing for COVID-19

CoxHealth will be able to do their own in-house testing for COVID-19.

CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards announced Sunday night that the new system would come online Monday. The system will be prioritized based on clinical markers.

“We have a supply to perform 200 tests total, with a possible re-supply in May,” Edwards told OI. “We are actually fortunate, others may have only 40. This is why we have to prioritize with emphasis on inpatients, symptomatic outpatients, such as ED, and symptomatic employees.”

“We have the test kits and viral transport media for about 5,000 test using an instate reference laboratory,” Edwards continued. “Sufficient for less urgent diagnosis, one day turn around time. Cepheid provides the testing supplies for in-house, and allotments are tightly controlled due to scarcity.”

Edwards reiterated that testing requires a referral from a doctor despite the county health department relaxing some of the requirements for testing last week.

“Testing asymptomatic patients appears to have higher false positives,” Edwards said on Twitter.

Edwards said that Cox had been flat with about 8 patients in the hospital and 15 pending results. As of Sunday night, Edwards said they were down to 4 patients in the hospital.

They also discharged a patient who had spent 19 days on a ventilator because of COVID-19.

“He is nearly a miracle,” Edwards said. “Makes me happy.”

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