Newman Regional Health Administers 1,000 COVID-19 Tests
(Emporia, KS) — Newman Regional Health announced Tuesday that they had administered their 1,000th specimen collection for COVID-19 since the initiation of collections on March 13th.
The 1,000th sample was collected on Tuesday, May 26th, at the hospital’s Drive Through collection site, located in the former emergency room ambulance bay. This location was originally established on March 18th, within days of Lyon County’s first confirmed COVID-19 case and served as Lyon County’s only drive through collection site until the County Health Department opened its own site in late April.
Lyon County’s first confirmed positive COVID-19 patient was identified through Newman Regional Health’s Drive Through operation.
“We are grateful that we have been able to serve our community in the last 10 weeks with the Drive Through collection site,” said Lindsey Hansen, LPN and Ambulatory Clinical Analyst for Newman Regional Health. “This has been a difficult time in our community and we are proud that we have been able to contribute our time and skills in this time of need. While this has been physically and mentally trying, the support we show each other helped us through this crisis.”
In addition to the Drive Through, Newman Regional Health has been completing COVID-19 tests for patients in the Respiratory Clinic, Emergency Department, physician offices, Express Care, and hospital settings. Of the 1,000 tests, 198 have resulted in a positive case.
Every test collection is a multi-departmental function. Infection Prevention team members are sometimes consulted with at the very beginning, depending on the patient’s case. Staff members in the aforementioned service areas physically complete the specimen collection using a nasopharyngeal swab on the patient. Once the specimen is collected, laboratory staff ensures it is ready for transport. A courier makes daily deliveries to the required drop-off locations. Lastly, Infection Prevention staff confirms results and communicates with required individuals.
Leanna Schmidt, MT(ASCP), Newman Regional Health Laboratory Supervisor said, “This has been a team effort from the beginning, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it. Throughout the pandemic, we have processed specimens for testing 7 days a week. Specimens are more than that to lab staff. We know there is a patient on the other end and do everything in our power to get results in a timely manner. I am appreciative of the flexibility that everyone including patients, physicians, nurses, lab, Drive Through collection team, and the Quality & Risk Management department have shown during this ever-changing process.”