Covenant HealthCare Laboratory Validated to Process Limited Number of COVID-19 Tests

Covenant Lab
Covenant Lab

Thursday, April 2, Covenant HealthCare Laboratory was validated to immediately begin processing tests for COVID-19/SARS2. Due to the limited number of test kits, the Covenant Lab will only be used to process tests for patients who are hospitalized, and patients admitted through the Covenant Emergency Care Center (ECC) with suspected COVID-19 infection. Tests taken at the Covenant COVID-19 Sampling Center will continue to be sent to an affiliated reference laboratory.

“Several years ago, Covenant purchased equipment to improve the accuracy of influenza testing. That same equipment was updated in March and that is what allows us to process this critical COVID-19 testing,” said Michelle Bauer, manager of Covenant Laboratory Pathology Services.

Covenant laboratory technologists have been preparing for weeks to perform COVID-19 testing on the Cepheid Infinity Instrument, using RNA amplified PCR for patient placement and isolation status purposes. Prior to acquiring the in-house testing update, samples were sent to the state laboratory, with a turnaround time of several days. Now with capabilities on-campus, Covenant offers critically ill patients a faster turnaround time of 90-minutes from receipt in the laboratory.

As a means to minimize exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Covenant has also established a Hotline (989.583.3135) staffed by advanced practice providers and nurses to handle COVID-19 screenings via telephone. Covenant strongly recommends that people concerned that they may have contracted COVID-19 call their doctor or the Covenant COVID-19 Hotline. If someone is experiencing severe symptoms, they should go immediately to an emergency department, or call 911.

To learn more about screening, sampling, and testing, view the Covenant HealthCare FAQ videos with Dr. Matthew Deibel at www.youtube.com/CovenantHealthCare.

Media interested in more information should contact:

             Kristin Knoll
             Public Relations
             989.583.7655 (office)
             989.714.4473 (cell)