Ballad Health to deploy rapid testing for COVID-19

Ballad Health officials Wednesday announced the health care system would start using rapid testing for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) starting this week.

Instead of test results for COVID-19 taking five to seven days, this new rapid molecular test, developed by diagnostics company Cepheid, will provide patients in the Appalachian Highlands with test results in five to seven hours. According to a news release, Ballad is among the first systems in the country to implement such testing.

“Ballad Health has been working hard to serve the needs of the community during this trying time and finding ways to streamline testing for COVID-19 has been one of our top priorities,” Brad Price, senior vice president and chief integration officer, said in the release.

Ballad will have the capacity to process approximately 50 of the rapid tests per day, but that number is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

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