Changes to COVID and Flu Testing for NHRMC and Pender Memorial Hospital

December 22, 2021
The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Services is pleased to announce a change to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), Influenza A, Influenza B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) testing beginning December 28, 2021.  This change will simply move testing from several cartridges to a single use cartridge for all analytes.  The total run time is 40 minutes from time of specimen receipt to test result.  The performance of the new consolidated cartridge is the same as the individual tests so specificity and sensitivity will remain the same. 

The recommended specimen is nasopharyngeal swab (NP) in viral transport media.  Published studies continue to show that sensitivity is better with NP swabs over other collection types for the detection of COVID-19.  For maximum sensitivity bilateral collection of NP swabs is still recommended.  The SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB/RSV will replace the single SARS-CoV-2 assay at Pender, Orthopedic Hospital, ED North the main campus on December 28, 2021.  

With respect to the current COVID-19 Testing Algorithm, the utility for this multiplex assay is for admitted ED/ICU patients as well as patients being tested for Flu and/or RSV.  Version 25 of the algorithm will be released on the day of go live.  

Please contact the Director of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Testing, Dr. Kevin M. McNabb, with any concerns or questions about this change at 910-667-7078 or via email at [email protected]