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Sentara Healthcare officials seeing progress on in-house COVID-19 testing

Sentara Healthcare said they have tested thousands of people for COVID-19, To get tested people need to call their doctor before showing up at the hospital

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Sentara Healthcare officials started in-house testing two weeks ago and said they are really proud of their progress.

Sentara Healthcare’s Director of Laboratory Services Eric Young said they are testing hundreds of people a day for coronavirus and they are getting results back within 24 hours.

It is National Lab Week and Young said he is incredibly proud of his staff. They are working around the clock and are working extra shifts to continue testing.

“It seems strange to say but I feel like we got to our new normal around testing. It’s kind of become part of what we do on a daily basis," Young said.

COVID-19 testing is happening at all 12 Sentara hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina. 

They are then sent to the lab in Norfolk and results are returned to the patient in 24 hours.

“What we are seeing is really constant with what the state is seeing as far as the number of positive cases per test and so yeah we do see several a day,” Young said.

He said staff is working around the clock inside the lab at Sentara Norfolk General. 

Young said when in-house testing first started, he said his initial goal was to test about 1,000 people a day. He said that has not happened yet.

“We’ve done upwards of 500 some tests one day and another day it may be closer to 300 based on what’s coming in the door,” he explained.

While Young said testing is going really well, there is always a concern about getting enough supplies. 

He said a team is dedicated to ensuring staff get the supplies needed to continue testing.

To get tested for COVID-19, Young said you need to have two out of three symptoms of the virus, which is cough, fever or shortness of breath. 

He said call your doctor before showing up to the hospital.

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