A windfall of cooperation in Tarrant County has bolstered the local response in the fight against COVID-19, providing greater access to testing and faster turnaround times for results. JPS Health Network, Tarrant County’s public hospital system, is now able to provide in-house testing, reducing the time physicians confirm their patients’ COVID status from several days to about an hour.
“This is a tremendous win for our community. Our patients need this, and the cooperation that has made this possible is civic duty at its best. I think everyone realizes what’s at stake and is eager to be a part of the solution,” said Robert Earley, president and CEO of JPS Health Network.
Rapid testing capabilities at JPS now include the Cepheid COVID-19 RT-PCR test, the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19-Molecular test, and the OrientGene Biotech AB test.
In addition to launching its internal COVID-19 testing abilities, JPS has partnered with Texas Health Resources and Cook Children's Medical Center to combine manpower and resources. THR has committed to sharing its supply of testing materials, which have been rationed out by the state of Texas. Meanwhile, Cook Children’s has stepped up to help process testing for JPS when the health network’s lab is at capacity.
JPS Medical Staff Vice President Dr. Janet Miles, who oversees laboratory operations at the health network, said availability of test kits remains limited across the United States. But, even without as many kits as they would like, the ability to strategically test Emergency Department patients who are going to be admitted, health network team members, and members of employee’s families is a tremendous tool.
“We’re going to keep doing everything we can to do our best for our patients, our team members and our families,” Miles said. “Having rapid testing capabilities is a big, important step forward.”
As of Monday afternoon, JPS had tested a total of 570 people. Of those tested, 445 were negative, 67 were positive and 58 tests are still pending results.