BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Lake Urgent Care/Lake After Hours reported it has been selected as one of the first urgent care operators in the country to offer Rapid COVID-19 Molecular Tests.
“It’s through AVID Labs, and we have been using their technology for the last three years in our clinics, the same technology for molecular testing with the flu test and the strep test,” said Dr. Kevin DiBenedetto, medical director for Lake Urgent Care/Lake After Hours.
Officials said the new screening will be administered on-site in the clinic and can identify patients with the COVID-19 virus in five to 13 minutes.
“The machine, the analyzer, is able to break down the virus and extract the RNA and multiply it to a point where it’s easy to detect the virus,” said Dr. DiBenedetto.
People are not allowed to just show up and receive the test. If you believe you may have been exposed to the virus or have been exhibiting symptoms, you should visit www.lakeurgentcare.com to find out if you meet the CDC criteria for Rapid COVID-19 testing. You must select the red “Virtual Visit” button.
“We are seeing a good positive rate, probably in the 30% range positive. I know we’ve done over 100 tests and we just started, and so we’ll work out the kinks fairly quickly. I predict we’re going to do more per day based on availability,” said Dr. DiBenedetto.
Officials said the test is now available at the Lake After Hours location behind Our Lady of the Lake on O’Donovan Drive at Hennessy Boulevard. It is also available at 31985 LA Hwy 16 in Denham Springs. Patients will drive-thru to get their RAPID COVID test, officials added. The tests are available by appointment only after taking the “Virtual Visit.”
Officials are looking at other locations in the Baton Rouge area to bring this form of testing to as well.
“We’ve talked about possibly going out in Ascension because they have a pretty good rate of infection going on,” said Dr. DiBenedetto,
Anyone who qualifies for the testing will be scheduled for same-day or next-day screening. Officials noted those tested for COVID-19 will know their results in minutes.
The tests are being made available as part of the FDA’s fast-tracked Emergency Use Authorization program.
The new Rapid COVID-19 testing platform is an extension of the same Abbott ID NOW screening system currently used to diagnose patients for the flu and strep throat.
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