AU Health helps rural hospitals get faster results for COVID-19 tests

Augusta University Health
Augusta University Health(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 9:45 AM EDT
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Monday, April 6, 2020

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) –- Augusta University Health has expanded its capacity for coronavirus testing and is serving as a lab to provide medical centers in rural Georgia and South Carolina with accurate and more timely results.

The specimens are delivered to the AU Health lab, and results are turned around within two days, often sooner, AU Health said.

Jefferson Hospital and Emanuel Medical Center are among the first rural medical centers to utilize the testing services by AU Health.

Jefferson Hospital sent its first samples on March 29, and AU Health was able to test and confirm three positive COVID-19 cases on the same day.

Jefferson Hospital CEO Wendy Martin said the hospital has often had to wait nearly two weeks to get results when using a third-party company.

“Hospitals are facing challenging times during this outbreak, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work with AU Health in getting quick test results for our patients,” Martin said.

She said that as rural hospitals often struggle with limited staffing and resources, quicker results will allow them ensure “the utmost safety of our staff, patients, and community.”

AU Health CEO Katrina Keefer said: “We know that having more timely COVID-19 test results allows for hospitals to take better care of all of our patients while protecting our staff and preserving personal protective equipment. We are blessed to have the testing capacity here so that we may support limiting the spread of the virus in local communities by more quickly identifying and isolating infected patients and health care workers.”

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