The evolution of Coronavirus testing, six months after it started in East Baton Rouge Parish

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BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – It has been six months since drive-thru testing for the Coronavirus in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The drive-thru system at Baton Rouge General Mid City was a collaboration with all the area hospital systems to get people tested. You needed a referral from a doctor then. Now, you don’t, thanks to the evolution of testing in the community.

“You have some labs that have three, five, ten, 15, 20 days at some point in this COVID experience where the backlog was so large and so that evolution and trying to keep up with testing has been really important,” said Jared Hymowitz, Director of Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative.

Numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health show more than 151-thousand COVID-19 tests have been taken in East Baton Rouge Parish. The most common is the PCR test where you get a sample from your nose. There’s the Rapid PCR test that’s a little more expensive and the antibody test that only shows if you were already exposed to the virus.

LSU researchers are studying a saliva test at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. No matter your choice, experts say testing will still be important even after a vaccine.

Hymowitz explained, “COVID is still going to be in the community. It’s going to be important that testing continues to evolve and that people understand that it’s best to understand your status.”

No cost surge testing is still available.

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