Many have asked if St. Claire HealthCare is testing patients for COVID-19. The answer is, yes.
St. Claire HealthCare (SCH) is collecting samples for COVID-19 testing when approved by the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH) and began testing when they received their first Patient Under Investigation for COVID-19 (PUI) on March 10. However, not every patient who presents with symptoms will be approved for testing. The reality is national testing capabilities are limited and in some cases, it is taking up to 10 days or more to receive results.
Some private practices are advertising testing on-demand and even drive-thru testing, but they’re only collecting samples. In most cases it still takes up to 10 days for results to be received, often after symptoms have resolved.
“These locations are adding volume to an already overloaded system, and potentially holding up results for patients with severe symptoms and those with a high risk of complications,” said Dr. Will Melahn, SCH’s Chief Medical Officer. “At SCH, we continue to follow the testing recommendations outlined by KDPH and out of necessity, KDPH must conserve and prioritize COVID-19 testing for those at greatest need.”
The good news is, the majority of patients with the virus only have mild symptoms and many never need to seek medical care. Others may have the virus, but not show any symptoms at all. That’s why Dr. Steven Stack, KDPH commissioner, continues to say “Assume everybody you see has the coronavirus.”
“We ask that you all continue your commitment to reducing the spread of illness through social distancing, proper hand hygiene, and staying healthy at home,” Melahn added. “We all have to be diligent to protect the more vulnerable in our population including the elderly and those with underlying conditions.”
There is a lot of information circulating about COVID-19 as well as a lot of misinformation. If you have any questions, please call the State COVID-19 Hotline at 800-722-5725 or visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov.
For the latest updates from St. Claire HealthCare, visit www.st-claire.org/covid-19.