National Guard arrival at Dayton Children’s South COVID-19 test site expands capacity

SPRINGBORO — The Ohio National Guard has arrived at Dayton Children’s Hospital’s Springboro testing site across from the hospital’s south campus, allowing the test site to triple its testing capacity.

“With the overwhelming demand for testing in our community, this support will allow Dayton Children’s to triple the testing capacity at this location and assist with the intense need in a nine-county region,” Dayton Children’s Hospital said in a statement.

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Twenty members of the Ohio National Guard arrived at the location to assist with pre-analytical duties such as registration, sample collection and specimen preparation.

The teamwork between Dayton Children’s staff and the National Guard will allow the site to potentially process nearly 800 tests a day, where previously the location could return 200-300 test results a day.

The increase in available testing is also made possible by the investment of the state of Ohio in a high-capacity instrument for its regional lab at Dayton Children’s south testing site. This instrument can process up to 5,000 PCR tests a day.

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“We are so thankful to Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio National Guard for their support and partnership,” said Deborah A. Feldman, president and CEO for Dayton Children’s Hospital. “It is only through collaboration like this that we are better able to serve our community and get through this together.”

With the additional resources from the state, the site will now transition to a more “community-based testing location” and therefore the tests offered will be free. That also means that only PCR tests will be available at the site.

The testing expansion comes as “there is strong community spread happening” and test positivity at Dayton Children’s Hospital is “at an all-time high,” the hospital system said.

For the week of Jan. 2 through Jan. 8, Dayton Children’s administered 3,981 COVID-19 tests and had a positivity rate of 34 percent. The hospital had 51 new hospitalizations during the same time frame involving COVID-19.

Dayton Children’s Hospital said it tests every child being admitted into the hospital for COVID-19 regardless of the reason for admission.