Rural Hospitals’ COVID-19 Testing

April 14, 2020

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Ngozi Ezike, M.D., recently announced hospitals in counties that IDPH considers rural and Critical Access Hospitals can submit COVID19 specimens to the state’s Carbondale laboratory for testing to reduce the wait time.

Leslie Chapman, who is in charge of the lab, has provided the following information:

  • One sample per patient;
  • Swabs can be collected in Viral Transport Media, Universal Transport Media, E swabs with liquid Amies, and sterile saline;   
  • Samples must reach the lab within 72 hours of collection and should be shipped or sent via a courier with frozen cold packs; and
  • A form must accompany each specimen.

Turn-around time for results will vary depending on workload. The lab is aiming to maintain a turn-around time of no more than three days.

Questions about this process should be directed to Leslie Chapman or Chris Vogt at the Carbondale lab at 618-457-5131.