Morris Hospital COVID Testing Supply is Limited
November 10, 2020, MORRIS, IL – In an effort to balance limited testing supplies with increased demand for testing, Morris Hospital has asked providers on its medical staff to limit COVID testing orders to those who need it most: symptomatic patients and those at high risk for complications.
“Right now, there is a very high demand for COVID testing,” says Kimberly Wolfer, Director of Laboratory Services at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers. “Due to our limited testing availability, we are unable to serve as a testing resource for all situations, especially in the case of asymptomatic people who are seeking testing because of concerns about potential exposure.”
Wolfer says the recent increased demand for testing has also slowed test results.
“We have a limited allocation of rapid tests each week and at this time have to reserve the rapid tests for patients being admitted to the hospital or having pre-surgical testing,” explains Wolfer. “The rest of our COVID collections have to be sent out to a reference laboratory, and the results are currently taking 5-6 days. Previously, we were seeing a 2-3 day turnaround for test results that were sent out.”
Morris Hospital continues to operate its outpatient COVID drive-thru testing site on the hospital main campus for patients who have a physician’s order. After the physician’s order is received, a Scheduling representative from Morris Hospital calls the patient to schedule the appointment. The drive-thru testing does not accept self-referrals or walk-ins.
COVID testing is also done at Morris Hospital’s urgent care locations only if the provider determines testing is appropriate after evaluating the patient’s medical history and symptom severity through a medical exam. The cost includes a physical exam and a separate charge for COVID-19 testing if testing is ordered. Both get billed to insurance.
Morris Hospital’s urgent care locations are in Channahon, Diamond-Coal City Campus, Morris and Yorkville. The rapid test is not being used at these locations at this time.
“Our immediate and convenient care centers are not the same as state testing sites where people can come just to get tested for COVID,” explains Kim Smith, Director of Immediate Care and Occupational Medicine at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers. “This is where we provide walk-in care for patients with mild to moderate injuries and illness, including flu-like symptoms. Having an exam with an immediate/convenient care provider does not guarantee a COVID test will be performed. It’s up to the discretion of the provider.”
Morris Hospital also advises that the hospital emergency department should be reserved for those who are in need of emergency medical care.
Additional information about COVID testing through Morris Hospital is available at morrishospital.org/covid19. A list of testing sites in Illinois is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-sites.