The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) and Amarillo Pathology Group, LLP and Physicians Preferred Laboratory, Ltd. (APGPPL) have partnered to increase human SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) testing in the Texas Panhandle.
TVMDL, a state agency within the Texas A&M University System, is one of the largest volume veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the country. The agency recently received approval from the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendment (CLIA) program within the federal Department of Health and Human Services to allow a human healthcare provider to perform human COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in their facility.
“Amarillo Pathology Group and Physicians Preferred Laboratory are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this collaboration with TVMDL,” Charlyn Snow, practice administrator for APGPPL said. “During these unprecedented times, accurate and timely answers matter. Through this arrangement, Amarillo and the Panhandle region will have better access to the information needed to manage patient care, community health and safety.”
PCR testing is the primary method used to detect COVID-19. PCR tests are used to detect the virus antigens. Antigens indicate the presence of a virus in its early stages of infection, even before antibodies form or symptoms are present.
Dr. Andrew Hoot of Amarillo Pathology Group, LLP and Physicians Preferred Laboratory, Ltd. will serve as the medical director overseeing human testing efforts.
PPL staff will be trained to use TVMDL’s high-volume testing equipment and use TVMDL laboratory space to perform testing. Through this partnership, PPL can perform up to 600 COVID-19 tests each day.
“These are challenging times,” TVMDL Director Dr. Bruce Akey said. “Each day, TVMDL works hard to provide the veterinary community, livestock producers and animal owners in this region with the highest level of service. We are fortunate to have the equipment, expertise, and lab space to assist our human health care counterparts in overcoming some of the testing challenges of this human pandemic to ensure the community is supported.”
TVMDL’s Amarillo laboratory is not a public testing site. PPL is not a respiratory collection site. Tests will be conducted only through a physician’s order and sample collection is performed by the patient’s referring provider. This test uses a nasopharyngeal swab. Patients will have access to their results in 24-48 hours by accessing the APGPPL patient portal at ppl.luminatehealth.com.
For more information on APGPPL, visit apgppl.com. To learn more about TVMDL, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu to find the laboratory nearest to you.