Local Media Cover Laboratory Alliance COVID-19 Announcement
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Laboratory Alliance's CEO Anne Marie Mullin was interviewed by our local news media following the April 13 announcement that limited rapid COVID-19 testing was starting at Crouse Hospital and St. Joseph's Health.
Following is coverage by WSYR TV, CNYCentral TV and the Post-Standard/syracuse.com:
Health Alert reported by Nicole Sommavilla
Posted April 13, 2020
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Lawmakers and healthcare professionals keep saying it, the real key to getting out in front of COVID-19 is more and quicker testing.
Beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Crouse Hospital will have the resources for limited rapid testing.
There’s not an unlimited supply of tests, so right now they’re only for people considered “priority one,” which include the following:
- Hospitalized patients
- Emergency Department patients
- Healthcare workers with symptoms
With a two-hour turnaround time, the rapid test could make a difference in limiting the spread.
The CEO of the Laboratory Alliance of Central New York (LACNY), Anne Marie Mullin, tells NewsChannel 9 they have been trying to bring this test here since March 10. The kits arrived last week and the staff is ready.
It’s a nasal swab that will be taken right at St. Joseph’s or Crouse. It will then be sent up the road to a LACNY lab in Liverpool for testing.
“We’re able to test locally and get the results sooner and let patients know sooner whether they have it or not so they can get the medical treatment they need sooner rather than later,” said Dr. Brando Cobanov, Laboratory Director at St. Joseph’s Health.
The faster tests help our neighbors get the treatment they need faster, while also helping to limit the spread of coronavirus.
“The sooner a healthcare provider knows whether the patient is positive for COVID the better, in terms of being able to identify anybody that they’ve possibly been in contact with,” said Mullin.
Upstate University Hospital already has its own rapid test but it’s for a limited number of people under special circumstances.
Hospitals and healthcare professionals are still asking people to call their primary care physician before going to the emergency room if they think they have symptoms of COVID-19.
Reported by Amanda Chin, CNYCentral
Tuesday, April 14
SYRACUSE, NY — On Tuesday, St. Joseph's Health launched a new test for COVID-19 that only takes two hours.
It's been difficult for vendors all across the country to keep up with testing kits needed for COVID-19, but right here in Central New York, there's a test where people can get results within two hours.
"It’s a big improvement from where we were just a few days ago, where we would have to wait two to three days for the results to come from Albany," said Dr. Brando Cobanov, a pathologist and Lab Director at St. Joseph's Health.
Right now those who can use this test are hospitalized patients, healthcare workers with symptoms, and patients in the emergency department at St. Joseph's Health and Crouse Health.
Once the patient takes the test at the hospital, the sample then goes to a lab in Liverpool.
"We deliver that specimen to our operations center laboratory and commence testing," said Anne Marie Mullin, CEO of Laboratory Alliance of Central New York.
Mullin says unless there is an isolated incident, all the tests will come back within that two-hour time frame.
Mullin says because of the high demand of test kits going to hot spots, the lab didn't receive the amount they had originally ordered.
However, she says they have enough for the amount of samples they've been receiving.
"If and when test kits become more available to us, then we can entertain the possibility of expanding our testing to so many other patients out there that we know are so needing and in need of this test," said Mullin.
Dr. Cobanov says these tests will identify positive patients much more quickly, and help stop the spread.
"The Health Department can actually start working on that case and find out potential contact," said Dr. Cobanov.
Updated April 13, 2020; Posted Apr 13, 2020
Syracuse, N.Y. — Instead of waiting 24 to 48 hours, Crouse and St. Joseph’s hospitals will get coronavirus test results in two hours starting Tuesday.
The tests will be processed in a Liverpool lab operated by the Laboratory Alliance of Central New York, which is owned by Crouse and St. Joe’s and does all lab work for the two Syracuse hospitals.
“It will be a game-changer for both hospitals,” said Anne Marie Mullin, CEO of Laboratory Alliance.
Crouse and St. Joe’s have been getting their tests processed at the state Health Department’s lab in Albany, which has a 24- to 48-hour turnaround time.
The rapid testing will be available to Crouse and St. Joe’s inpatients, employees who have symptoms and emergency department patients. The Laboratory Alliance also operates labs within Crouse and St. Joe’s. Mullin said it will soon move the coronavirus test processing to those hospital labs.
Dr. Brando Cobanov, lab director at St. Joe’s, said the rapid test will allow doctors to start appropriate medical treatment much sooner for patients who test positive.
He said St. Joe’s has been doing about 50 coronavirus tests a day. Crouse has been doing about 35 a day.
The Laboratory Alliance received coronavirus test kits last week and had to validate the test with the state Health Department before it could begin offering it.
James T. Mulder covers health news. Have a news tip? Contact him at (315) 470-2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org