Gundersen creates test that detects COVID-19 and produces results in-house

Published: Mar. 23, 2020 at 7:38 PM CDT
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Over the weekend, Gundersen Lutheran Health System announced it has developed a test that detects COVID-19.

The test meets CDC requirements under federal protocol.

Gundersen is also able to produce results for the COVID-19 test in-house, reducing the wait time from days to hours.

However, the small lab inside the Health Science Center in La Crosse says it can only get through around 150-200 tests each day, so only specific tests are sent in-house.

"We are limiting our testing that we're doing in-house to patients that we would consider the most critically ill, the ones that need the fastest results," said Steve Callister a Gundersen research scientist.

The research scientist says knowing whether or not hospitalized patients are COVID-19 positive, helps the whole health system staff take proper precautions.

Patients with more mild symptoms can still be tested in Gundersen's drive-thru if pre-screened and approved.

Those tests are sent to a commercial lab, according to the health system.

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