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Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare working on getting back COVID-19 test results in 24 hours or less

Posted at 9:57 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 10:05:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Thursday, Tallahassee mayor John Dailey joined by officials from Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare gave an update on their COVID-19 response after three cases were reported in Leon County overnight,

The presser was held at TMH's COVID-19 sample collection center at the Northwood Centre.

At the presser, TMH officials also briefly addressed the COVID-19 patient that died at the hospital. They said that the patient was tested for coronavirus when they arrived but say the results didn't come in until Wednesday night, after the patient had died.

The hospital is now working with other labs to speed up the testing process and have already started getting COVID-19 test results back in 24 hours or less for in-patients at TMH. For outpatients, it'll still take anywhere from five to seven days to get those labs back.

TMH is also cutting back on non-essential, elective surgeries to help conserve supplies for the potential of additional COVID-19 patients.

During the presser, health officials stressed that the drive-thru is not for people who are trying to be screened for coronavirus.

Instead, they said that this should be a "physician-driven process" and that no one who thinks they have COVID-19 should go to the hospital or drive-thru before talking to their doctor.

City urges people not to come this drive-thru testing site without a doctors order. If you don’t have a physician, you can call 850-431-4470 and someone will help you.

As far as mass screenings go, local health officials said there are no plans to do so because it wouldn't account for asymptomatic patients or people who contract the disease after they are screened. So far, Leon County has reported three cases of COVID-19 and one death. Capital Regional Medical Center reported the two other COVID-19 patients Wednesday night.

You can watch the full presser below: