Coronavirus testing expected to expand this weekend

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – Gone are the long lines of cars waiting for drive-thru Coronavirus testing at Baton Rouge General Mid-City. The site is a collaboration between the mayor’s office and all the hospital systems in the city.

Leaders with one of those, Ochsner, said they are using private sources for testing with results coming back in five to eight days, causing a backlog. So now, they are planning to start in house testing in the next 24 to 48 hours.

“We’ll have a turnaround time within a day. Two, it’s going to allow us to test more people. So we’re gonna be able to broaden that testing over the next couple of days,” said Warner Thomas – CEO, Ochsner Health System.

Thomas said they expect to do up to 800 tests a day. Staff will do the swabs in Baton Rouge and send them off to New Orleans. The concern now is spreading COVID-19 which could cause some problems. Experts want you to know, not everyone needs a test.

Thomas added, “If you don’t have the symptoms of fever of 100.4 or higher, respiratory challenges, coughing. If you don’t have these types of criteria and then we’ll look at if you’ve been in contact with somebody who is postive. Have you traveled to high risk areas? These are the things you’ll be asked on the phone line and if you have these symptoms, and you have, you know, then you’re gonna get tested.”

93 Coronavirus tests were given Friday at Baton Rouge General Mid-City. That’s a total of 648 since the drive-thru testing started on Monday. There is no testing on the weekend. You can only get a test if a doctor requests it. The testing is expected to resume on Monday.

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