Dr. Acton orders hospitals to send tests where results are faster

Gov. DeWine announced the order Wednesday to send tests to hospitals with rapid tests, instead of private labs

Dr. Acton orders hospitals to send tests where results are faster

Ohio — The testing process for COVID-19 has caused frustration throughout Ohio, a frustration both Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton have expressed in daily news briefings. Wednesday, they announced an order to change how some tests are being processed.

“Dr. Acton will issue an order today directed at all hospitals that do not do their own testing, which is the majority of hospitals,” Governor DeWine said. The order will require those hospitals to send their tests to the state or to hospitals that are doing their own testing. Dr. Acton and the governor have expressed frustration that private labs are taking days to turn around results, while some hospitals have tests that can give results within hours. “The problem has been turnaround, which has been 4, 5, 6 days, which is unacceptable for the patient, it is unacceptable for the rest of us,” said the governor.

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The Cleveland Clinic and Ohio State Medical Center are among the hospitals doing their own testing, and the governor said they have the capacity to process more tests. The state health department will continue to analyze tests of the most critical patients.

During Wednesday’s briefing, as she signed the order, Dr. Acton said, "I am signing an order here for our hospitals to make it easier for our outlying hospitals to get their labs run more quickly.” She said the teams at the health department are shifting hours to be able to process tests more quickly.

The governor says they are working with companies that have created new rapid tests, and will start utilizing those, as well, as soon as they become available. “Ohio, like other states, has not had as much testing as we would have liked,” said the governor.

Dr. Acton has said, as she presents the confirmed positive tests each day, that the confirmed tests are just the “tip of the iceberg.”

Wednesday, the state announced that there had been 2,547 confirmed cases, with 679 hospitalizations and 65 deaths confirmed to have been related to coronavirus.