Virus Test Kits Still In Short Supply For Local Community
April 9, 2020
Local virus testing continues to be available, but on a limited basis as sites still struggle to obtain kits.
Community Health Shawnee Family Medical Center opened a coronavirus testing site Tuesday in downtown Shawnee, and plans to continue testing every Tuesday and Thursday, as testing kit availability allows.
"We performed about 60 tests in the past three days," said Isabella Lawson, chief executive officer of Community Health Center of Oklahoma today (Friday, April 10).
So far, the site has been able to utilize around 20 testing kits per day; however, the group expects their already limited testing ability may be cut in half soon.
"We will probably have to limit down to 10 tests a day," Lawson said about the continuing struggle to obtain kits. "It's horrible. Really horrible."
"It's definitely been a huge issue getting the testing kits."
On the plus side, the CEO said the turn-around time on results has sped up to just two days, instead of seven, with a switch to LapCorp.
"So we already got the results back from our Tuesday tests," she said. "We are very, very happy about that."
As long as supplies are available, OHCO plans to continue testing at the downtown Shawnee site beginning at 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. Appointments are preferred; however, Lawson said residents without an appointment wouldn't be turned away if they have tests.
"We do a pre-registration on the phone to limit exposure to you and the staff at the site," Lawson said. "It's basically just three questions – name, number and if they have a PCP (primary physician) to send results to."
Four nurses and two physician assistants work in teams to take vitals and administer the test. If pre-registration has been done, all that's required on-site is for the car window to be rolled down for a nurse to confirm names and take vitals before a physician assistant performs each test.
Appointments may be made by calling 405-395-0300. The facility is located at 130 N. Broadway, Suite 30, in downtown Shawnee. Signs are posted directing vehicles to enter the alley by the Ritz Theater off of Main Street.
Current testing status through the Pottawatomie County Health Department is currently pending, as the Countywide was told numbers are being gathered and will be relayed as they become available.