UK HealthCare now offering same-day COVID-19 tests for ‘sickest patients’


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Jacob Eads

UK HealthCare officials announced Monday that providers are now testing potential COVID-19 patients at UK HealthCare facilities from start to finish.

Of the over 900 COVID-19 tests administered by UK HealthCare since March 6, most had been previously been sent to state labs for results, according to according to Dr. Derek Forster, Medical Director of the Infectious Disease Division. 

Now, UK HealthCare providers now have the option to run “same-day” tests at their own facilities for their “sickest patients.”

“We have sufficient capacity to test all of the patients in our outpatient clinic, our inpatients and our emergency room here at UK,” said Dr. Darrell Jennings, Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “Basically our motto is the right test for the right patient at the right time.”

UK’s new in-house tests typically take between five and six hours to complete, which is faster than the time it takes to conduct state lab tests, Jennings said. 

Of the over 900 potential COVID-19 patients tested by UK HealthCare this month, only 17 have tested positive, according to Forster. Four of those people have been admitted as patients. Two were still currently undergoing treatment in-house at UK Hospital Monday afternoon, Forster said. 

Aside from in-house testing procedures, UK HealthCare officials are also lauding their new telehealth system which launched last Wednesday after eight days of development. By way of Zoom, providers now have the ability to take “acute visit” calls from patients across the state. T

The new telehealth program will help to keep populations at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 out of crowded HealthCare facilities. 

The telehealth program has already seen over 100 patients since its launch, according to Dr. Roberto Cardarelli, Chair of Family & Community Medicine.

“To us that means we’re keeping patients safe at home. We’re keeping our community safer by keeping people isolated who might have symptoms,” said Cardarelli. “We’re excited to extend the software and the service to our state.”

These new UK HealthCare responses to COVID-19 come as Kentucky recently logged its 100th COVID-19 diagnosis. Gov. Andy Beshear announced 16 new cases on Sunday bringing the state’s total to 103.

The Lexington Health Department announced today that the city just saw its first death related to COVID-19.