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Horizon Health Care Announces New COVID-19 In-House Testing Capabilities

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Horizon Health Care has announced that they are now able to offer point-of-care (POC) or in-house Coronavirus testing. The increased access to POC testing through purchase of testing kits has been made possible by a combination of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Expanded Testing Capacity Grant funds, as well as generous donations to Horizon Health Foundation’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.

These testing kits allow Horizon to test and result a patient to determine if the patient has COVID-19. These test kits are designed for patients who have COVID-19 symptoms and are within the first five days of displaying symptoms. If patients are past the five-day window, POC testing will not be an option.

“We are excited to offer this service to each of our communities, especially as we head into cold and flu season,” said Misty Rudebusch, PA-C, MPAS, Horizon Health Care Medical Director. “We know the symptoms of COVID can mirror the symptoms of the cold and flu virus, so want to assure our patients can receive their results as quickly as possible.

POC testing is a type of test called an antigen test. Antigen tests are designed to detect proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens, for example nasal swabs. This test will provide real-time, lab-quality diagnostic results within minutes rather than hours. Previously, any COVID tests were sent out to a reference lab and could take multiple days to receive results.

This testing will be able to help Horizon providers quickly identify patients that are positive for COVID-19 or determine if they are experiencing a case of influenza or other viruses.

“As school and activities restart, this investment will be a great benefit to our communities, because quicker testing results will help minimize time out of school and work,” said Rudebusch. “By being able to immediately identify a positive, we will be able to limit exposure to the rest of the community in a timelier fashion. We want to do our part to help our businesses keep their employees healthy and our children to be able to remain in school.”

POC same-day testing is currently available at all Horizon medical clinic locations.

For those who would like to make a gift to the Coronavirus Relief Fund, contact the Horizon Health Foundation at (605)772-4553 or www.horizonhealthfoundation.com. Donations to this fund help to provide PPE for clinic teams and support the Employee Emergency Fund.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.