BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Administrators with Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital announced new protocols for COVID-19 testing. According to CEO Rocco Massey, when the hospital collects specimens they are sent to the state health department or Labcorp for testing. There is no point-of-care testing for COVID-19 at ARH.
Before a sample is collected a verbal screening is conducted. The responses determine what happens next. A yes answer to all of these questions will lead to a sample being collected:
- Respiratory symptoms
- Fever greater than 100.4
- Contact with a COVID-19 positive patient in the past two weeks
- Travel by air or on a cruise
- Visit to a community with a community based spread
If an inpatient has respiratory symptoms, the physician can test for flu, strep and COVID-19 at the same time.
People coming to the emergency room are tested for strep. This only takes minutes for results. If it is positive they are treated for strep. If it is negative a specimen is taken for Flu/COVID-19. If the test comes back negative for the flu it is sent for COVID-19 testing, otherwise the patient is treated for the flu.
The process used in the ER is also used for testing at the clinic. The difference in these cases is they use a Rapid Strep test. If the patient tests negative for the flu, hospital infection control is engaged and the health department is notified.