Valleywise Health's new testing quickly detects COVID-19

Valleywise Health has acquired a break in the race to detect COVID-19 as quickly as possible in the form of a new, advanced technology that allows hospitals to more effectively target, diagnose, and treat COVID-19 infections.

The test requires a simple nasal swab -- changing the turnaround for results from six hours to at least 45 minutes.

"The 45-minute one will be a big game-changer for us and our ability to manage our patients," Micheal Murphy said.

The new system was recently approved for emergency use the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Valleywise doesn't have to worry about the shortage of nasal swabs that have limited other kinds of testing.

04 March 2020, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart: Shortly before the corona outpatient clinic of the Stuttgart Hospital in Katharinenhospital opens a smear test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a man points out that patients can be tested in the corona outpatie

"The company that makes the test has also thought of allowing nasal washes, which does help with the limited swabs that we're still experiencing," Murphy said.

Currently, more than 23,000 GeneXpert systems are now being used around the world, with 5,000 of those being used in the U.S.

Although Valleywise is one of the first healthcare systems in the state with this testing, Murphy says for now, the testing is only available to Valleywise patients.

"We do have to limit the testing to our in-patients, but we are hopeful that with more supplies, we can begin to expand this test beyond that."

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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