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MHSC no longer offers rapid tests

  • Category: Health & Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Deb Sutton, Sweetwater Memorial Public Information Officer
MHSC no longer offers rapid tests

Drive-thru swab station offers two alternatives

Due to a shortage across the nation, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County no longer offers same-day molecular tests for outpatients.

Rapid tests ­– those offering results in about 45 minutes – are not currently available at MHSC’s Emergency Room and Sweetwater Walk-In Clinic as a result of the marked surge in cases communitywide.

Anyone in need of a COVID-19 swab should instead go to the drive-thru swabbing station at the hospital’s main entrance at 1200 College Drive, said Deb Sutton, MHSC Public Information Officer. The station is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

At the swab station, two options are available:

State PCR tests: There is no charge for the nasopharyngeal swab. No appointment is necessary. It is the most sensitive test, typically order by physicians or it’s a personal decision. The swabs are sent to the state for testing with 2- to 4-day turnaround.

Curative PCR tests: This is a shallow nasal swab. There is no charge. Swabs are sent to the Curative lab with a 2- to 4-day turnaround. To speed up processing, please make an appointment at There still may be a waiting line. However, with much of your information already in the system, it will speed up the process.

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is a diagnostic test that determines if you are infected by analyzing a sample to see if it contains genetic material from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention.

News Medial Life Sciences recently reported the CDC’s 2019-nCoV RT-PCR test was developed to look for the presence of a nucleic acid found only in the COVID virus, according to Kelly Wroblewski, director of infectious disease programs at the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

“It is not remotely accurate that the CDC test doesn't differentiate between flu and SARS-CoV-2. It doesn't detect influenza. It only detects SARS-CoV-2, Wroblewski told News Medical Life Scienes. “If flu and COVID are both circulating, you would be able to detect only SARS-CoV-2 and not flu.”

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