Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Charleston’ VA Hospital partners with MUSC to offer faster COVID-19 testing

ByDanielle Seat|April 15, 2020 at 6:34 AM EDT - Updated April 15 at 9:40 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Patients and staff members at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center will be able to have expedited testing for COVID-19 starting Wednesday morning.

The partnership between MUSC and the Johnson VA Medical Center means they will have test results within 24 hours.

Although MUSC and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center have a long standing relationship, they say this is more about the veterans and the sustainability of their hospital.

"We've made a commitment to them as a nation that we would take care of them,” Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center spokesperson Tonya Lobbestael said. “And especially of the injuries or wounds that they may have sustained while they were serving on active duty."

All VA Medical Center employees and patients will now be able to drive-up to MUSC Health’s drive-through test site after they are screened at the VA to determine if a Coronavirus test is needed. Once they are screened, they can make an appointment, drive up, and have results within 24 hours.

Officials with the hospital say this is important because many VA patients have underlying health concerns, some stemming from injuries they suffered while serving in the military.

Once patients and employees are referred to MUSC by a doctor at the VA, they will come to MUSC if a doctor recommends them. If the patients test is positive, they can receive care back in the comfort of their own VA hospital.

“They had some capacity, and so it allowed us to utilize that capacity for our VA patients and for our VA employees, and to keep our staff focused on making the preparations in the event that we have a positive patient here,” Lobbestael said.

She says the VA Medical Center has not yet had any COVID 19 patients who required hospitalization.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo: Live 5 News

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