OPELOUSAS, LA (press release) – As of Monday, April 13, Opelousas General Health System is now capable of performing an FDA approved molecular test in-house 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. It will also have value in the community as people start looking to return to work, “ said Dr. Kenneth Scott Parks, Chief of Staff at Opelousas General.
A simple nasal swabbing placed in the appropriate transport media is the specimen required for testing. Highly accurate test results are available in one hour. Positive results indicate active infection for the virus that causes COVID-19. “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, it will allow us to have a faster affirmative diagnosis for patients being admitted to appropriately place them onto the appropriate area of the hospital. In some cases, it will help employees return back to work sooner – if asymptomatic but have been exposed.
According to our President and CEO, Dr. Kenneth Cochran, “By having this test, it helps us meet our normal operating expectations for testing. Most ailments can be tested and resulted within 24 hours.”