Sanford Health launches in-house testing for coronavirus
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., March 23, 2020 — Sanford Health has launched a test for the COVID-19 virus using an FDA-approved method under Emergency Use Authorization. Tests will be available at Sanford clinics and medical centers, and processed at the Sanford laboratory in Sioux Falls. Patients will receive results in 24-48 hours.
To be tested, patients must meet high-risk criteria and have a physician order.
The new Sanford testing capability will enable far more patients to be tested with faster turnaround time. Sanford estimates it will be able to process nearly 400 tests per day, with plans to double that capacity in the coming weeks.
The expanded testing will also provide public health officials more data about the spread of COVID-19 in the communities Sanford serves.
“This was a tremendous effort on the part of our team to rapidly validate and launch our own internal testing,” said Dr. Allison Suttle, chief medical officer for Sanford Health. “Our testing will deliver faster results, enabling us to provide responsive care and keep our patients and staff safe.”
Previously, tests were sent to the state Department of Health or commercial laboratories. Sanford will continue to use these external labs as needed for any overflow testing.
Sanford Health’s test is FDA compliant and test results have been validated over the last week.
To get a test, Sanford patients must meet criteria defined by the Centers for Disease Control, including:
- Active lower respiratory symptoms — fever, chills, sore throat, cough, or
- New symptoms of shortness of breath, headaches, muscle pain, or
- Exposure to anyone with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 test
If patients are experiencing symptoms, they should call their provider instead of going directly to their clinic.
Sanford is also offering e-visits for COVID-19 care in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. An e-visit is an online questionnaire about symptoms that patients complete from home. A Sanford provider will review and respond within four hours with a treatment plan or prescription, or instruction to be seen in-person for further evaluation or testing.
About Sanford Health
Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have transformed how Sanford Health improves the human condition. For information, visit sanfordhealth.org.