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Same-day results

Community Health Center offers in-house testing

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Ann Feser, advanced registered nurse practitioner at Community Health Center of Fort Dodge, holds a test kit as she waits for the next patient Wednesday afternoon. CHC has been offering same-day results for COVID-19 testing since June 23.

The parking lot on the west side of Community Health Center of Fort Dodge was plenty busy Wednesday afternoon.

Many of the vehicles there represented patients needing to be tested for COVID-19.

Community Health Center staff had COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment and paperwork ready to go at a booth in order to offer more efficient testing to patients.

The patients wait in their vehicles until a provider greets them.

“I get their paperwork ready and the provider comes out and does an assessment,” said Renae Kruckenberg, CEO of CHC of Fort Dodge. “The providers give a nasopharyngeal swab.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Nasopharyngeal swabs are administered using the kit shown here. The swab allows health care providers to receive same-day testing results for COVID-19.

That type of swab involves getting a test sample of nasal secretions from the back of the nose and throat. That sample is used to determine if someone tests positive or negative for COVID-19.

Results are determined in the same day. This type of testing is sometimes called rapid-result testing. The process can take about 20 minutes.

The center has been offering in-house same-day testing since June 23, according to Kruckenberg.

The clinic must follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in terms of who can be tested.

“Either by exposure or symptoms,” Kruckenberg said. “We are working closely with Webster County Public Health Department because they do the contact tracing.”

Kruckenberg, who has led the clinic since 2013, said having the same-day results is beneficial for the health and safety of the community.

“So if someone is positive, they know before they leave so they can isolate,” she said. “We want to keep everyone healthy and as safe as possible.”

About 100 tests per day have been administered at the clinic in recent days, according to Kruckenberg.

She said the number of positive tests “vary” from day to day.

Kruckenberg credited her staff for braving the heat and working longer hours than expected.

“My staff has been amazing,” Kruckenberg said. “Working extra long hours, coming in on days off to try and keep the community healthy.”

Rhonda McFadden, typically a financial advocate for Community Health Center, has been helping with the COVID-19 clinic, Monday through Friday.

“Rhonda is my life saver,” Kruckenberg said. “She gets all of our information input on the computer.”

Patients wishing to be tested should call CHC at 515-576-6500 to make an appointment. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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