As COVID-19 cases rise in the Springfield area, hospitals increasing testing

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 9:43 PM CDT
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Cases of COVID-19 have creeped up in Springfield over the last several weeks.


shows where we are now, with 307 confirmed cases, only 109 of which are active cases.

That is out of nearly 6,000 patients who have now been tested at a mobile site in Springfield, but that site is shutting down and hospitals will start providing testing.

Cox Infectious disease Doctor Robin Trotman said during a Facebook Live event Wednesday he is confident they are well equipped to handle another wave of COVID-19 cases from the testing stand point, but said that could still change in the future.

"From the swab that goes into your nose to the solution that it goes in to the tools that go into the machine, we don't have unlimited testing capacity," Dr. Trotman said. "In fact, we have a very limited testing capacity inside of our hospital which is a one hour test."

Trotman said while he isn't too concerned about a shortage of testing equipment right now, there's always the potential that could change.

"Those references labs have potential shortages of everything to the plastic pipettes all the way to the reagents that go into the machine," he said.

Dr. Trotman said CoxHealth hopes to soon test everyone who enters its facilities. Over at Mercy, they have also upped the testing.

"I am happy to say that really our supplies both nationally and locally here are at the point where we don't have any concerns about our testing," said Mercy Vice President of Operations Adam Whitten. "We've been testing both our patients that are symptomatic and even our patients that are going to have surgeries and procedures, we're getting them tested even before they enter. "

Whitten says every symptomatic patient that called for testing Wednesday was able to get in, and if you do run into a wait, there is a reason.

"We want to make sure that we're providing access to our symptomatic patients first and foremost," Whitten said. "Our goal is to always provide easy access, but if you are asymptomatic you may have to wait until we have that access for you. "

CVS Pharmacy provided us with video of its drive-thru testing sites. It has three Springfield locations, and 28 across the state. Two of those sites just opened up at the end of June.

"It is a self swab, so we ask all of our patients to stay in the car and go through our drive through line," said Lein Rogers, the regional director of CVS. "Our technician teams are trained to watch and verify the swab is happening, so our team is well equipped to validate the swab is happening for the amount of seconds in each nostril."

With just 50 tests available, you do have to schedule it in advance and results can take four to six days.

"We have been able to manage those tests in our sites today," Rogers said. "Now will than answer remain the same in the next week or two with the surge that we're seeing across the nation? I'm not certain. "

The new testing locations will begin Friday. The health department does not provide a COVID-19 testing site, but can help anyone who is having trouble accessing a test.