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Ochiltree General Hospital COVID-19 Testing Update

With so much information in the media about patients receiving erroneous COVID-19 results across the nation, Ochiltree General Hospital would like to let our community know that COVID-19 tests taken here at Ochiltree General have been meticulously researched by our staff to ensure the most accurate results are available here in our community.

The process Ochiltree General went through to find the most precise and prompt testing available began several weeks before the first positive case was reported here in Ochiltree County. Ochiltree General began by sending the tests of suspected COVID-19 patients to a State laboratory. Unfortunately, the process of getting permission to test those samples was just too hard for local practitioners and many times the tests would be rejected in order to test samples from harder hit areas. The next step that was taken by Ochiltree General was to transition to using a large reference laboratory where the samples were sent off to be tested. Though this method solved the problem of getting clearance to run the tests allowing Ochiltree General’s Laboratory Department to test anyone a practitioner felt needed to be tested, the reference laboratory took over a week to get results back which wasn’t helpful to our community.

At that point, Chief Nursing Officer Kelly Judice brought to the attention of Ochiltree General’s Laboratory Director Tony Black a laboratory in Lubbock, Texas, Microgen Diagnostics, which was doing PCR testing in under 24 hours. PCR – or polymerase chain reaction – testing is the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. The decision was made to transfer testing to Microgen. After setting up an account and partnering with the Hansford County Hospital District, Ochiltree General set up a courier system to drive these samples to Lubbock six days per week.

Patients can be sure the results they are receiving from Ochiltree General are high-quality test results. To put that into context, MicrogenDX submitted reports to the Food and Drug Administration showing 100 percent accuracy in recovering the COVID-19 virus from samples.

Ochiltree General Hospital continues to actively monitor all updates with the Texas Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control in regard to COVID-19. Currently, there have been 28 reported positive COVID-19 tests performed at Ochiltree General Hospital. Twenty-six of those cases are Ochiltree County residents, one case is a Lipscomb County, Texas, resident and the last case is a Beaver County, Okla., resident.

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