Novant Health rolls out 15-minute COVID-19 tests

Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 5:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Novant Health rolled out new COVID-19 tests that can turnaround results within 15 minutes.

Family Practitioner Dr. Genevieve Brauning says Novant Health is testing some patients for COVID-19 through Abbott ID Now equipment. Novant Health already uses the equipment for flu and strep tests, but the manufacturer recently developed a test for COVID-19 using the same equipment.

Dr. Brauning says most Novant Health respiratory centers have the 15-minute-tests available. However, Novant Health physicians are being selective in who receives tests. In an effort to preserve tests and personal protective equipment, the health system is only testing patients who meet a criterion. Others with suspected mild cases of COVID-19, in which they could recover at home, may go untested.

Novant Health is still relying on LabCorp to test some samples, but results take much longer to get back than tests done via Abbott ID Now.

“Part of the reason is there is no transport involved. So when we do a LabCorp test, we take a sample we Process it twice a day, picked up by courier, it gets transported to somewhere else, it gets potentially on a plane to a LabCorp facility and then sits in a mailbox until it gets picked up. So, there is just some transport delay,” Dr. Brauning explained.

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