COVID-19 testing ramps up leading to Christmas holiday

SWLA COVID testing ramps up

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Free Coronavirus testing is being offered this week at several locations in Southwest Louisiana--as local health officials warn the week ahead could create real problems in the battle against the virus.

As many prepare to celebrate the Christmas holiday, healthcare providers are making a final push to get more people tested.

“Our testing volumes are higher than they were a month ago. We’ve been on the incline and that’s partially driven by the holidays.”

With Christmas fastly approaching, the COVID-19 positivity rate remains steady in Southwest Louisiana along with the demand for testing.

“I also think some of the increased testing demand could be driven by the new CDC guidance.”

Along with the holiday season, Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh says a shorter incubation period for those testing negative for the virus are the two driving factors to get people to testing sites.

“Around the hurricanes, we crashed out to doing very little testing and now we’re up to 212 per 10,000 people.”

Cavanaugh says testing in our region still doesn’t measure up to the state’s average but it’s a definite improvement from where we were this time three months ago.

“Tests that are going through the Civic Center are going through Quest. Luckily, the turnaround time is much better than the Summer. Over the Summer, sometimes we had up to 14 days before we could see results.

At the Civic Center, she says results generally come back within 3 days.

With only a few big more holidays left in the year and hope with the recent vaccinations...it’s going to be a while before the general public gets the vaccine; Reasons why Cavanaugh says now is not the time to let down our guard.

“We know what works against this virus. Each mitigation measure is a separate tool. None are 100% but when you combine them together, it works well to prevent a lot of cases of COVID,” said Cavanaugh.

Here’s what you need to know about the Civic Center Location:

· Located at 900 Lakeshore Dr.

· Will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between Dec. 23, and 30, it will operate from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

· Closed on state holidays and during inclement weather.

· Drive-through testing site, stay in your vehicle and wear a mask.

· There is no cost to be tested.

· Testing for ages 3 and older.

· Parents must test children 12 and younger.

· No ID needed to be tested.

· Preregistration encouraged but not required: health.questdiagnostics.com/STLOU.

· Test results in 2-3 days through MyQuest patient portal or by calling 1-866-MYQUEST.

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