Ochsner Health surpasses 100K community COVID-19 tests

Published 8:20 am Saturday, October 10, 2020

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NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health surpassed 100,000 statewide COVID-19 community tests on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at a community testing site. Ochsner continues to offer COVID-19 testing in communities across Louisiana, in partnership with state and local leaders.

Testing has been offered in St. John the Baptist Parish throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at the Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes in LaPlace.

In the last weeks of April and near the start of the Louisiana’s Phase One COVID-19 response, Ochsner Health recognized the need to quickly and efficiently test members of the community for COVID-19 to identify hotspots and outbreaks so that mitigation measures could be immediately employed. Ochsner is proud to work together with Governor John Bel Edwards and his coronavirus task force, local governments, community partners, congregate living, churches and civic organizations to make this a reality. Ochsner has administered more than 100,000 COVID-19 tests in just five months at more than 200 testing locations across the state.

“In late spring, once the curve began to flatten and we were near the end of the initial wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in the New Orleans area, we knew it was necessary to work together to bring testing opportunities to our communities,” saidYvens Laborde, MD, medical director of global education, Ochsner Health. “We continue to have some of the highest per-capita testing rates in the country and continued access to this resource remains a critical component of safely reopening. This remarkable investment from Ochsner and our partners is true to our mission to serve, heal, lead, educate and innovate on behalf of the communities we serve. I would also like to recognize the hundreds of Ochsner Health employees who have been redeployed at sites near and far to make this milestone a reality. We remain committed to continuing testing efforts for as long as necessary.”

 Since the beginning of this crisis, COVID-19 testing remained one of the most critical tools for healthcare providers and care teams. Test rates in Louisiana are among the highest in the United States. Broad COVID-19 testing helps researchers and healthcare professionals learn more about COVID-19 prevalence to help make data-driven and informed decisions in the future for Ochsner employees, patients and the community. This spring, Ochsner was the first in the state to develop in-house testing capabilities. Ochsner’s laboratories in New Orleans and Shreveport can run up to 23,290 COVID-19 tests per week.

Ochsner continues to offer COVID-19 tests to the community each week across the state to any person age 2 years and older who wish to know their status. Those who wish to be tested should bring an ID and insurance card, if applicable. There are no out-of-pocket costs for those seeking a test and no one will be turned away based on their insurance status.

Community members will receive test results via MyChart patient portal or by phone. Those who test positive will have the opportunity to participate in Ochsner’s 14-day symptom tracker program designed for COVID-19 patients who do not require hospital care. Participants receive daily text messages to monitor symptoms and can be connected to a 24/7 nurse on-call line for additional support.

In addition to offering community testing, Ochsner has the following resources available:

  • Individuals can call the free Ochsner information line at 844-888-2772 for 24/7 advice and COVID-19 information
  • Established Ochsner patients can schedule a video visit with their provider and send secure messages via MyOchsner
  • New patients can see a provider over video through ochsner.org/virtualvisitsor via the Ochsner Anywhere Care app.

For more information about Ochsner’s community testing resources, including a list of locations, please visit www.ochsner.org/testing.