In a press release March 23, 2020, Avera Health confirmed that Avera’s laboratory in Sioux Falls has been verified by the South Dakota Department of Health to perform COVID-19 testing.
The Avera Institute for Human Genetics has worked closely with the governor’s office as well as the state health department to establish guidelines on how pending tests are processed. This additional testing site will allow processing of up to 200 tests per day. Avera will have the ability to enter these results directly into the patient’s AveraChart electronic medical record.
The most critical and highly suspicious tests will receive priority. Result time will depend on volume, however, most test results will be able to be returned in a few days and inpatient tests that are considered urgent based on the patient’s condition can be returned more quickly.
To date, this testing has been conducted by the state health department’s laboratory and Avera’s contract laboratory.
“We are incredibly proud of the teamwork that was involved in making this happen so quickly. This will benefit our patients, health care workers and the general public. The health and safety of our patients and communities are the utmost important to Avera. We hope the addition of more testing sites will expedite results and calm worries,” said Bruce Prouse, MD, Clinical Vice President of the Avera Laboratory Service Line.
“Testing of COVID-19 samples is a complex process. Thanks to Avera’s background with genetic testing, we have the expertise and equipment to accomplish this,” Prouse said. “Getting this validation completed so quickly took amazing teamwork by our laboratory staff as well as state health officials. All are working together in the best interest of patients and the greater population.”
All test results will be sent to the state for reporting purposes. Patients with positive test results will be contacted with instructions on how to care for themselves at home, symptom management, and when to contact health care provider if symptoms worsen.
Learn more at Avera.org/COVID-19