03.24.20

Perdue, Loeffler Work To Expedite Coronavirus Testing

Urge Trump Administration To Boost Resources For Academic Medical Centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) are encouraging the Trump Administration to refocus coronavirus resources to Academic Medical Centers in Georgia and across the country. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the senators highlight that Academic Medical Centers, like those at Augusta University or Atlanta-based Emory University, are using innovative testing methods and have unique infrastructure that enables them to return coronavirus test results more quickly than in traditional laboratory settings.  

Read the full letter here.

“I applaud Senators Perdue and Loeffler for their leadership on this issue, and I appreciate them sending this letter,” said Dr. Jon Lewin, President and CEO of Emory Healthcare. “The innovation of our academic health centers is demonstrated by our ability to quickly develop and process testing for COVID-19 patients. An integral step in containing this virus is fast and accurate testing to allow us to preserve our personal protective equipment for the safety of our patients and healthcare workers.”

“This is why we’re here,” said Brooks A. Keel, PhD, President of Augusta University. “It’s times like these that we, as the state’s academic medical center, step up and lead. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University were some of the first in our state to develop in-house testing capability, a critical step toward preventing the spread of illness in our state. To ensure we’re working to identify and isolate patients quickly, we now have two drive-thru locations currently testing more than 100 patients each day. As we expand our virtual screening app to include more of the State, and as we are identifying more individuals that need testing, we are working closely with the Georgia Department of Health to get them directed to their nearest public health location for testing. I’m grateful to our U.S. Senators for their support during this time.”

Background:

  • Both Emory University and Augusta University have developed their own tests and are actively processing results from COVID-19 each day. 
  • Emory University and Augusta University’s Academic Medical Centers are processing at least 100 tests a day and are preparing to expand in the coming weeks.
  • With assistance from the Georgia Department of Public Health, many Academic Medical Centers are unveiling virtual COVID-19 screenings through tele-medicine apps. These screenings are available 24/7 and allow medical professionals to examine symptoms and determine whether an individual should schedule a COVID-19 test at an official testing site.

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