New Hampshire hospitals take on virus testing

Coronavirus testing-File photo
Coronavirus testing-File photo(WCAX)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 7:34 PM EDT
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) Nearly all of New Hampshire’s hospitals soon will offer testing for the new coronavirus, the state health commissioner said Thursday.

The nine testing locations the state currently operates eventually will close as hospitals take on the community-based testing, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette said. Nineteen facilities are participating, though the list does not include the state’s largest hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which limits its testing to hospitalized patients and health care workers.

The hospitals will use a variety of labs to process the tests, limiting the impact of any one company’s backlog, Shibinette said. The goal will be a turnaround time of about three days for test results, she said, and the state will monitor usage and add a testing site if gaps emerge.

Two dozen urgent care centers and a dozen pharmacies around the state also are offering the tests.

“Access to testing should not be an issue for anybody at all,” Shibinette said.

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