SWLA hospital officials announce local COVID-19 testing center, must be referred by doctor

SWLA hospital officials announce local COVID-19 testing center, must be referred by doctor

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A COVID-19 testing center is opening in Southwest Louisiana, local hospital officials announced Monday morning.

The testing clinic will be at Moss Memorial on Walters Street.

“First of all we’re going to test them for the flu swab. If the flu is negative, we’ll test for coronavirus. Then within four days we should get the results. If we suspect the person has it we can send them home to do a quarantine at home. If they’re sick enough, we can transfer them to the Memorial ER or whichever local hospital ER," Dr. Mohammed Sarward, medical director at Moss Memorial Health Clinic, said.

The testing center is not for walk-in patients. The center will only test people with a referral from a primary care physician or emergency room doctor. Memorial has a coronavirus nurse advice hotline at 337-494-2110 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Dr. Timothy Haman, the chief medical officer at Christus Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital, said they’re taking extra precautions to protect their staff and patients.

“Based on the mandate by the governor we are restricting visitors. We have screenings of all visitors when they’re coming into the facilities. They fill out a questionnaire if they are positive for any sort of symptoms we’re asking them not to visit," Haman said.

The hospital sent out information on visitor control process below:

Regional Medical Director for the Louisiana Department of Heath, Dr. Lacy Cavanaugh says no cases have been reported in Southwest Louisiana, although there are more than 100 cases and two deaths in the state. Most of those cases are in the New Orleans area.

Testing is currently being done in Louisiana and in our area but definitive numbers are not known as private sector labs are only required to report cases that test positive for the virus.

Sgt. James Anderson with Louisiana State Police Troop D says that no mandatory curfews are in effect and no there are currently no plans to reduce entry to certain towns or cities.

Dr. Manley Jordan, with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, said Southwest Louisiana has always pulled together in times of need.

“Southwest Louisiana is resilient, I have no doubt we will be resilient in this endeavor as well," he said.

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