OPLEOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — Opelousas General Health System announced that it is now capable of performing an FDA-approved molecular test for detection of the virus that causes COVID-19.
“This is a game-changer for managing patients in the ED and hospital as we will have results within minutes instead of days,” said Opelousas General Chief of Staff Dr. Kenneth Scott Parks. “It will also have value in the community as people start looking to return to work.”
The test consists of a nasal swab, and highly accurate test results are available within one hour, said the hospital in a press release.
“Due to limited number of testing kits, this test is being prioritized based on patient symptoms and potential changes in patient care,” states Dr. Chrissy Lalonde, Medical Director of Laboratory Services at Opelousas General.
By having this testing capability in-house, the hospital will have a faster affirmative diagnosis for patients being admitted. That will allow them to appropriately place patients in the appropriate area of the hospital. In some cases, it will help employees return back to work sooner – if asymptomatic but have been exposed.