Rapid Testing Begins at Sierra View District Hospital in Porterville

A Press Release from Sierra View Hospital and Tulare County Health Department

Sierra View District Hospital (SVMC) has been selected by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), along with other hospitals throughout the state, to receive an Abbott point-of-care instrument, also called an ID NOW machine, in order to strengthen testing capabilities located in our region.

“Lab testing capability continues to be a key focus in this pandemic,” states Karen Elliott, Director, Tulare County Public Health Branch. “The addition of this instrument to Sierra View increases the ability to test locally in all three Tulare County hospitals, along with the public health lab.”

Having this rapid testing ability complements the current testing abilities available to our local area. As with many newly developed methods to detect the virus, the ability to obtain all supplies and reagents to consistently support testing continues to be a challenge, and limited tests are available at this time.

“We are testing an average of 15 people per day,” said Gary Wareham, Lab Director for Sierra View Medical Center. “We will be happy to see that number increase as supplies become more readily available.”

  • ID NOW machines have been provided to hospitals and a public health laboratory in 12 California counties that are experiencing a gap in testing.
  • The CDPH worked with providers across the state to identify and select testing locations that serve vulnerable and/or underserved individuals and communities with critical testing needs.
  • ID NOW machines provide positive results of COVID-19 in as little as five minutes, enabling health care providers to make appropriate and efficient treatment and infection-control decisions in their communities.
  • The machines are available for use under U.S. Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
  • ID NOW machines placed at hospitals in selected communities will have the capacity to process COVID-19 tests from nearby facilities.

Sierra View Medical Center is pleased to have the rapid testing (ID NOW machines) available. However, since this is recently being released to hospitals, SVMC has a limited supply of testing product at this time and will reserve the rapid coronavirus testing for suspected COVID-19 ED patients, inpatients, and symptomatic health care workers, as well as a few select others, including nursing home residents and nursing home health care providers.

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