SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — COVID-19 testing plays a critical role in dealing with the pandemic. Here in KELOLAND, Sanford Laboratories has made testing a priority.
It wasn’t long ago that Sanford Health reached a milestone in COVID-19 testing, performing 50,000 tests.
Since reaching that milestone in June, that number has increased significantly.
“So at this point, we’re actually, we’re at, we’re actually approaching 200,000 tests performed within our Sanford Health footprint,” Ingemansen said.
Dan Ingemansen is the Senior Director for Sanford Laboratories. He says about 2,200 tests are being performed at the central reference lab per day, making supplies a focal point.
“When we look at more of our batch solutions, which is 80% of the testing we do, those supplies are, I wouldn’t say, readily available. We do run into shortages, but what we’ve done is we’ve diversified with four different manufacturers to allow us to continue to produce, a high quality, and also a high quantity of tests on a daily basis,” Ingemansen said.
Capacity is currently being expanded by 5,000 square feet at the central reference lab to make sure diagnostics are available come flu season.
What he’s calling a game changer this flu season though, is a new test.
“I did just receive FDA approval for a quad test, they’re calling it. It includes a SARS-CoV-2, basically to detect the COVID-19 virus. It also includes influenza A and influenza B and RSV,” Ingemansen said.
The FDA says combination tests offer several advantages, only requiring a single sample from patients– resulting in fewer supplies such as swabs and PPE being used.
“Now that that is FDA approved, over the next six weeks or so we will be rolling that out to many of our hospital locations in order to have that, that bedside test when available. That’s been our biggest challenge up to this point,” Ingemansen said.
Conquering these challenges is all thanks to teamwork, with patient care the top priority.
“Our response has been phenomenal. I can’t be prouder of our organization and our team members that have contributed to get us to where we are today,” Ingemansen said.
To stay up to date on the COVID-19 tests being performed in KELOLAND, click here.