Free COVID-19 testing sites to stop use of result in 72-hour tests

Free COVID-19 testing sites to stop use of result in 72-hour tests

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Recently, coronavirus test results from the Lake Charles Civic Center have come back within 72-hours. However, those quick results are coming to a halt.

Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, Regional Medical Director for Southwest Louisiana says what’s called “surge testing” started last month.

“The federal government assisted us in providing us with a new laboratory called E True North that had a 72 hour turnaround time,” Dr. Cavanaugh said. “There was an online portal, there was a pre-registration and you were able to get your results online electronically in three to five days.”

Now they’re running out of those quick turnaround tests.

“We are almost out of the test kits provided from that laboratory,” Cavanaugh said. “We know that we do have one additional week of that sort of more guarantee quick turnaround time and then we probably have to go back to one of the reference labs that we were using before.”

While it may not be as fast, Cavanaugh said going back to one of the previously used labs, won’t mean going back to two-week waits.

“A lot of the national labs have continued to beef up their capacity, so they’ve gotten new machines, they’ve gotten new equipment, they’ve gotten more reagents, they’ve gotten more staffing,” Cavanaugh said. “Hopefully, they’re a little better prepared if we get a second surge of demand.”

The Lake Charles Civic Center will continue to offer free testing, but whether pre-registration will be required or exactly how long those test results will take is to be determined.

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