New rapid testing is now allowing Windsor Regional Hospital to assess much more quickly whether in-patients in the hospital are carrying the COVID-19 virus.
Implementation of the GeneXpert instrument by laboratory staff and the vendor, InterMedico, is complete and Medical Laboratory Technologists have been trained in the use of the instrument, which was also validated by testing known samples to verify performance and accuracy. WRH can now test up to 200 individuals per week, which is the maximum amount of weekly tests available for use due to an international supply shortage.
Due to the limited supplies, rapid testing will focus on in-patients in hospital who need to be tested to confirm whether they have recovered from the virus, or acquired it. The testing can also be used for critical and emergency patients, with need determined by our medical staff. It cannot be used for mass testing – WRH regularly tests as many as 750 individuals per day at its two COVID-19 Assessment Centres.
Once a test sample is received in the laboratory, the results can be known within one hour.
In addition to COVID-19, the instrument can also test for Flu A, B, and RSV. Other common respiratory viruses to help with treatment decisions during the pandemic. Validations for these tests will be completed within the next couple of weeks.
The testing allows for better bed allocation – knowing where to place patients so that we are not mixing COVID-19 positive patients with those who don’t have the virus. It will also allow for quicker decisions on what unit a patient will be transferred to, as well as the amount of personal protective equipment required by staff treating the patient.
The province will pick up the cost of operating the GeneXpert, however, the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation is seeking donations to support the purchase. To donate, please visit www.wrh.on.ca/support
Please continue to visit www.ontario.ca/coronavirus or www.wrh.on.ca for regular updates on COVID-19.
1995 Lens Avenue, Windsor, ON N8W 1L9
1030 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON N9A 1E1