wexner medical center

The Wexner Medical Center will help analyze Ohio COVID-19 tests. Credit: Amal Saeed | Photo Editor

Ohio State will receive COVID-19 tests from other hospitals to help shorten turnaround time for test results. 

Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an order Wednesday requiring hospitals unable to test for COVID-19  to send tests to larger hospitals such as the Cleveland Clinic and the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State as opposed to private labs. 

Acton, said the purpose of the order is to allow smaller hospitals to get COVID-19 test results faster. 

“These labs are able to turn around tests much more quickly than the private labs,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. 

DeWine said that in some cases, patients have had to wait up to six days for test results.

“It’s unacceptable to the patient, it’s unacceptable for the rest of us, because knowing when someone tests positive or doesn’t test positive is information that we very, very desperately need,” DeWine said. 

According to a Monday Wexner Medical Center release, results of  a test developed with Battelle — a research development company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio — can be available in as few as five hours. The system can currently process about 200 tests per day, but the goal is to process more than 1,000 test swabs per day in the coming weeks.

The Ohio Department of Health will also continue to analyze tests, DeWine said. He said that they have been in contact with companies making rapid tests — which require less time to analyze — and will be using them once they are sent to Ohio, which he anticipates will happen in the next week. 

At the time of publication, there are 2,547 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 65 deaths and 679 hospitalizations in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.