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NCH purchases advanced equipment to speed up and increase coronavirus testing

NCH has confirmed Friday the purchase of high-tech equipment by Ortho Clinical Diagnostics called the VITROS XT 7600.

The machine will give the ability to do large quantities of coronavirus antibody testing.

The equipment is expected to be operational in late May and have the ability to ultimately process more than 1,000 samples a day with results in one hour.

“This is going to be a game changer for us … Our goal is to test everybody,” said Jon Kling, the chief nursing officer of NCH. “By mid-June, we want to be doing 2,000 a day.

Kling says it might seem like a large task, but it will be worth it.

“We want to look at this as how can we get our community back to work,” Kiling said.

And this test will help NCH get a better idea about the coronavirus.

“Antibodies tell us a personal history with infection,” Kling said. “It can tell us he or she has been exposed, and it will tell us if they have any immunities built up to that.”

NCH is among a handful of hospitals in the country to have this opportunity. This testing will also only take about 45 minutes to an hour to get results. NCH first told The Naples Daily News only three other hospitals in the country have the advanced equipment, two in New York City, and one in Miami.

NCH will be doing this testing in addition to the drive-through testing. And even though the equipment is at the North Naples location, samples will be sent there from other areas of Southwest Florida.

“Anywhere in Collier County or in south Lee County you can go to a physician or lab office, and the labs will be sent to the North Naples hospital,” Kling said. “And we will process them there, but you don’t have to go to one place to get your labs drawn.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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