COVID-19 tests held back at Care New England hospitals due to cartridge shortage


(Courtesy: Care New England)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Rhode Island’s second-largest hospital group Care New England is now actively using COVID-19 testing machines in its hospitals, which can provide results in as little as two hours.

Dr. C. James Sung, executive chief of pathology and laboratory medicine, said the GenMark ePlex COVID-19 testing machines are now fully operational at both Kent and Women & Infants hospitals.

Courtesy: Care New England

The catch, Sung said, is that Care New England has less than three dozen test cartridges available to use in the machine systemwide and because of this, its hospitals are limiting in-house testing to inpatients.

Sung said Care New England is “working hard to increase its testing capacity so it can most efficiently assess specific needs within this pandemic.”

In addition to the new machines, Care New England has set up three tents outside Kent Hospital to mitigate COVID-19 testing and treatments:

  • A COVID-19 testing tent utilized for testing appointments and screenings.
  • An emergency room open-air unit in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 patients.
  • A respiratory infection triage unit where symptomatic patients who do not need to be hospitalized can go to receive treatment by appointment.

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