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FDA approves new way to test COVID-19, but it's not yet available in Springfield

The Florida Health Department has released the latest coronavirus COVID-19 numbers for Wednesday. (MGN)
The Florida Health Department has released the latest coronavirus COVID-19 numbers for Wednesday. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: May. 29, 2020 at 8:43 PM CDT
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Governor Mike Parson knows there's a need to expand testing in Missouri.

"Our goal is to get to 60,000 and sometime by June we want to get to 100,000," said Governor Mike Parson.

That means conducting 6,000 to 7,000 COVID-19 tests a day.

"We're trying to push those numbers up of all the testing we're doing," said Parson.

So far, Missouri has relied on PCR and antibody testing but a new option might help.

"The best test has to be accurate and the less false positives and false negatives," said CoxHealth Dr. Nana Gasie.

CoxHealth in Springfield does not use antigen testing yet but the FDA approved it earlier this month. The test is fast results from the nasal swab come in a matter of minutes but it's also not as accurate as the more common PCR testing.

"Any one that comes through with symptoms of cough, symptoms of short breath, sore throat we test them," said Gasie. "We get results in about one to two days."

Dr. Nana Gasie said Cox does also rely on antibody testing, which generally appears in people who have recovered from the virus.

"When you get an infection with a pathogen your body produces an immune response that puts antibodies to the pathogen," said Gasie.

Gasie said Cox would be interested in using Antigen testing when it comes available. For Parson, more testing in general is good as long as it's accurate.

"That's how we're going to open the economy and that's how we're doing on testing," said Parson.

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