OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma is now offering antibody testing for COVID-19.
As of April 20, DLO has tested 8,268 patients for COVID-19 through a combination of in-house lab testing and through Quest Diagnostics, a joint venture partner for DLO.
In addition to the molecular PCR swab testing for those with symptoms of an active infection, DLO is now offering a COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody serology test which can identify individuals who have developed a serological response.
DLO began offering COVID-19 PCR testing through Quest Diagnostics on March 9 to support the pandemic, and then began in-house PCR testing on March 28 in two of its Oklahoma City laboratories.
DLO’s in-house PCR testing attention is on Priority 1 and Priority 2 testing as recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). All other PCR testing done by DLO is completed through a Quest Diagnostics lab.
“Our lab staff worked tirelessly to go through the processes needed to bring critical COVID-19 testing to our Oklahoma-based labs in record time,” said DLO CEO Dennis Hogle. “By concentrating on at-risk hospital patients and healthcare workers with COVID-19 symptoms, DLO can accelerate the results and give providers the opportunity to quickly create a plan of action for treatment. With the addition of IgG serology testing, DLO can now provide added focus on identifying Oklahomans who have been exposed and recovered from COVID-19.”
DLO is working with hospitals across the state to offer access to these vital tests. To further expand testing, DLO is working to add immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody testing soon.
“As an Oklahoma-based company, DLO’s focus is to provide innovative, timely and quality laboratory services to the citizens of our state,” said Hogle. “DLO will continue our efforts to expand our COVID-19 testing through IgM antibody tests in the near future, but we are pleased to be able to provide critical Priority 1, Priority 2 and IgG antibody testing to Oklahoma.”
DLO has 45 patient service centers throughout Oklahoma and provides clinical laboratory testing for all 77 counties in Oklahoma.
Hogle said it’s important the public use their healthcare providers for COVID-19 PCR swab specimen collections, but the IgG serology test is a routine blood collection and can be drawn at a DLO location with a provider’s order.
“Our patient service centers do an excellent job of collecting specimens for blood and urine testing, so we are able to collect samples for the IgG serology tests at our locations throughout Oklahoma,” said Hogle. “However, the COVID-19 PCR swab test is for symptomatic patients and is to be performed only using respiratory specimens collected by a healthcare provider from individuals who meet CDC clinical and/or epidemiological criteria for COVID-19 testing. Our DLO Patient Service Centers do not collect COVID-19 PCR swab specimens for symptomatic patients suspected of having an active COVID-19 infection.”
DLO has also instituted additional precautions for patients who use their facilities for routine lab testing.
“DLO wants to do all we can to protect our patients and employees from exposure to any illness,” said Hogle. “We have implemented additional steps to make our patient service centers safer including limiting the number of chairs in the waiting areas to maintain social distancing and taking patients back to draw rooms to wait until we can collect their specimen. We are also asking all patients to wear masks when visiting DLO, and unless you need a caregiver, we ask that only patients enter the PSC. We also encourage our patients to schedule an appointment through our website to help further reduce any wait time.”