Last week, more than 13% of patients 21 or younger tested positive
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) — Last week, Children’s Hospital of New Orleans recorded its highest positivity rate among patients 21 and younger. The number topped 13% for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started.
In October of 2020, Children’s Hospital began offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing to students, family members and school staff.
To date, more than 3,500 patients across seven parishes have been tested.
Dr. Leron Finger said the demand for testing has only increased in recent weeks. On average, 120 patients are tested each day.
Finger told WDSU that the hospital shares its data with local school districts.
“I can’t tell you a more valuable resource that they’ve been able to utilize in their efforts to combat COVID-19,” Finger said. “Now we can give those results in almost real time to parents and families, as well as schools, which is critical to making those quarantine decisions.”
Test results are normally available within two to three hours.
“That I wasn’t aware of,” said Dwana Smith, the parent of a NOLA Public Schools student. “I had to wait 48 hours for my results, so I’ll get these results for my son within two hours.”
Smith applauded Children’s Hospital for creating a safe environment to get tested.
“We had exposure, and I went to be tested last week at a free community place, and it was just too many people. I didn’t feel comfortable bringing my son there,” said Smith. “But I thought this was the perfect environment for him to be tested.”
The hospital also has mobile testing teams that can meet families in a community if transportation is an issue.
“We’ll send out our mobile testing resources to test a large swath of children and teachers at a local school site,” Finger said.
All testing requires an appointment, which is usually scheduled by a school or pediatrician.