Success in ramping up Louisiana COVID-19 testing effort

Chris Miller
May 28, 2020 - 4:38 pm

Louisiana officials say they're making good progress toward reaching their goal of testing 200,000 people per month for COVID-19. They want to keep that pace up through the end of the year. 

Louisiana was testing a lot of people in the early going, hitting the CDC recommended two percent of the population -- but Dr. Alex Billioux with the Louisiana Department of Health says that wasn't enough, because some parishes and communities weren't getting any testing.

"Since we were already at two percent, we were going to have to double our efforts, literally, to reach those populations where we weren't seeing enough testing," said Dr. Billioux.

Dr. Billioux says they are distributing test kits throughout the state, to hit every region, then they bring the samples to testing hubs.

"We're not asking them to process them in-house or buy expensive equipment, instead, creating partnerships and contracts with labs in centralized locations that we can bring those to, so that we can get that processed quickly," the doctor said.

The state is closing on hitting 200,000 tests for the month of May -- more than double the recommended two percent. The ability to detect COVID cases and keep them under control is essential to continued reopening of the economy.

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