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COVID-19 test results in 24 hours comes to Bowling Green

Wood County Hospital, in partnership with Bowling Green State University and the Wood County Health Department, has implemented state-of-the art Thermo Fisher Real-Time PCR technology for COVID-19 testing, the same equipment used by the Ohio Department of Health, for the BGSU community and the public. 

Wood County Hospital has trained laboratory staff and specialists performing tests on hundreds of specimens daily that are collected from multiple collection locations in Bowling Green, including Wood County Hospital, Falcon Health Center, Wood County Hospital Testing and Assessment Center, and BGSU, providing reliable results in 24 hours. 

“The Thermo Fisher testing platform is a highly accurate, high-complexity test now available right here in Bowling Green,” said Wood County Hospital President Stan Korducki. “In our implementation of this testing, we will, together through our shared partnership with BGSU and the Wood County Health Department, serve the well-being of our community in a way that has never been done before. This type of testing will be of particular benefit to our community, as well as neighboring community hospitals and nursing homes, allowing health care providers the opportunity to make faster, critical decisions for patient care.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Jan Allen, testing lead on behalf of the Governor’s COVID-19 Response Team, were instrumental in facilitating the procurement of scarce testing resources and equipment. Wood County Hospital’s laboratory uses an RT-PCR mid-nasal test through Thermo Fisher Scientific instrumentation, thought to be one of the most reliable testing options.

“This testing capability demonstrates the power of collaboration,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “We are especially grateful to Gov. DeWine and Jan Allen for their support to help this initiative come to fruition. Together, with our public and private sector partnerships, we are creating public good, at a time when our communities need it the most.”

“To have this kind of testing in our own backyard is a significant step in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our region. Fast, reliable testing means we can identify trends in real-time and make key decisions to keep our communities safe,” said Wood County Health Director Ben Robison. “Access to testing is critically important in combating the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Wood County Health Department continues to work with local, regional and statewide agencies and organizations to provide testing, contact tracing and other critical services to the public.”

BGSU is the only university in Ohio, without a medical school, to establish a COVID-19 testing partnership with a local hospital and health department. 

This builds on the established partnership between BGSU and Wood County Hospital for the Falcon Health Center and the new public-public partnership with the Wood County Health Department announced in July, which introduced a new chief health officer position at the University.

“There are significant public health challenges with COVID-19 testing availability and long wait times for results,” said BGSU Chief Health Officer Ben Batey. “By introducing access to this testing in our region that both collects and analyzes specimens at the same location, we will dramatically improve turnaround times for testing results to better serve not just our students, faculty and staff members, but the community at-large.”                         

“As a public university for the public good, this testing is the type of innovative partnership we envisioned, reaching across public and private sectors to make public health the utmost priority for our region,” said Rogers. “By building upon our existing relationship with Wood County Hospital and Falcon Health Center, and leveraging our mutual aid agreement with the Wood County Health Department, BGSU is uniquely positioned to drive the vitality of our region through shared resources. Testing of this scale is a direct benefit of being in a true college town.”

In a joint public health effort, BGSU met with the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio State University laboratories, the Wood County Health Department and Wood County Hospital in early summer to evaluate multiple types of testing and determine which was the most reliable platform. With continued statewide support, Wood County Hospital was able to invest in the equipment and personnel to establish RT-PCR COVID-19 testing in Bowling Green. 

“One of the greatest public health challenges throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic has been securing readily available and reliable testing,” said Dr. Sue Houston, vice president for partnerships and chief of staff at BGSU. “For months, we have been working to secure a steady source of quality COVID-19 testing for BGSU and the region. Our partnerships across the state made it a reality.”

Funding for the COVID-19 testing for BGSU and the public was provided through the CARES Act.

Testing is by appointment only, with a physician referral. To access testing, a physician needs to fax the order to 419-354-8624. Once the order is processed, the Wood County Hospital Registration Department will schedule an appointment. If an individual does not have a physician, they can go to the Falcon Health Center to see a provider.

Media Contact | Colleen Rerucha | rerucha@bgsu.edu