LANDSTUHL, Germany – Landstuhl Regional Medical Center recently exceeded 10,000 tests for the Novel Coronavirus, June 12.
Starting in February, LRMC’s Infectious Diseases Laboratory began testing for COVID-19 utilizing the Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Diagnostic Panel, becoming the only U.S. military medical treatment facility in Europe with diagnostic testing capabilities. As the threat of COVID-19 has increased, so has demand for testing, resulting in the addition of rapid multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), ramping the testing capability up to three platforms.
While averaging 90 tests per day, testing has surged up to 400 tests in one day, ensuring U.S. Armed Forces across Europe, Africa and the Middle East are ready to deploy if needed. The current operational capacity is 500 tests per day.
“Ten thousand tests performed represents the military’s ability to keep its Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Civilians, and their families protected from uncontrolled COVID-19 spread, and ensures readiness across the European region,” said U.S. Army Col. Pete Bowden, deputy commander for patient services. “Testing also contributes to informed decisions about re-openings of facilities, services, and determines restriction of movement.”
Since March 14, the hospital has increased efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to include starting a COVID-19 Screening Clinic, screening all patients, staff and visitors to the hospital and reducing operations.
In addition to LRMC, the hospital’s outlying clinics, two in the Kaiserslautern, Germany region, one in Wiesbaden, Germany, two in Belgium and one in Italy, have also contributed to reducing the spread of COVID-19.
A total of 18 personnel, ranging from PhD-level scientists to supply technicians, support the laboratory, allowing the section to continue daily mission requirements of providing non-COVID-19 analysis while continuing to support the hospital’s ongoing COVID-19 mission.
Due to the volume of COVID-19 tests being conducted and the time required to process results, test result notifications could take up to four days, and patients are notified of results by LRMC’s Public Health team.