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CompuNet, Premier Health Offer Community High-Volume Testing

Faster turn-around times key to ramping up health care services, meeting state testing goals

DAYTON, Ohio (May 8, 2020) – Premier Health and CompuNet Clinical Laboratories early next week will greatly expand the Moraine-based lab’s COVID-19 testing capacity, with an ability to run about 1,500 COVID-19 tests per day. This is a key step in ensuring the necessary patient testing is in place as part of Ohio’s plan to ramp up many health care services.

The growth in testing also will help ensure that the Dayton region has a far more detailed understanding of the extent to which the COVID-19 virus has spread in the community. This latest advancement involves polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing; in early May, CompuNet also began offering COVID-19 antibody testing, which tests for antibodies that would indicate a past COVID-19 infection.

Increasing CompuNet’s testing capacity to 1,500 per day – up from the current capacity of about 100 – also will play a key role in efforts to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers on the front lines.

While testing will still be prioritized based on guidance from the state of Ohio, CompuNet anticipates that it will have the capacity necessary to serve as a regional resource. More widespread availability of testing, for example, could help inform public health measures such as cohorting residents of skilled nursing facilities who have the virus.

The addition of the high-throughput equipment at CompuNet’s Moraine headquarters also should shorten turnaround times for all testing, including at Premier Health’s specimen collection site at UD Arena, which has been operating since mid-March. Turn-around times could be less than 24 hours in many cases.

“With this new robust platform, CompuNet will no longer face potential factors that can limit its COVID-19 testing, such as availability of reagent and swabs,” said Atef Shrit, MD, pathologist and chairman of CompuNet’s board of directors. “We have received assurances that we will have the testing supplies needed to support the community’s needs.”

The expanded capacity is the latest example of Premier Health’s leading efforts to bring new tactics to Southwest Ohio as part of the region’s COVID-19 response. For example:

  • Premier Health and CompuNet, in conjunction with Fidelity Health Care and the University of Dayton, opened one of Ohio’s first specimen collection sites on March 17, providing local residents a safe way to be tested for the virus;
  • Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital in April became the first hospital in the nation to provide convalescent plasma therapy using the Mayo Clinic’s protocols;
  • On May 4, Premier Health, in conjunction with CompuNet, became the first hospital system in Southwest Ohio to offer COVID-19 IgG antibody testing without a doctor’s order at its specimen collection site.

“CompuNet has played a vital role in our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two months,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “Collaborating with CompuNet to expand access to testing in our region at such a critical time is in keeping with our mission to build healthier communities.”

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