This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). CDC, Photo Courtesy
IU Health begins COVID-19 testing through its pathology laboratory
Indiana University (IU) Health now has the capability to test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, using its pathology laboratory, according to a press release from the hospital.
Currently, it states the number of people who can be tested is limited, with priority given to high-risk, seriously ill patients and health care workers who may have been exposed to the virus.
“The COVID-19 crisis continues to impact our communities in Indiana and abroad, and I want our patients to know we are here for them,” said Dennis Murphy, president and CEO of IU Health. “As more diagnostic testing resources become available, we will expand the number of patients we are able to test.”
The press release states IU Health anticipates offering broader testing as additional testing capacity becomes available over the next two weeks.
IU Health will use the test as a COVID-19 virus confirmation, not as a virus screening tool, consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) guidelines, the press release states.
Healthy patients with mild symptoms are still encouraged to self quarantine for up to 14 days, it states.
COVID-19 testing, it states, must be ordered by a physician, and individuals must first complete a COVID-19 screening through their health care provider or the free IU Health virtual clinic application.
Based on the screening results, a health care provider will recommend and facilitate appropriate care and provide direct access and communication with local hospitals as medically appropriate.
IU Health’s virtual clinic has already screened more than 6,000 patients from home — potentially eliminating the need to visit physician offices, urgent cares or emergency departments.
For steps individuals can take steps to prevent the spread of the virus, IU Health has created an online resource center with information from expert physicians.