Gravette hospital makes COVID-19 test kits for clinics

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Courtesy of KNWA

GRAVETTE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – On the third floor inside the Ozarks Community Hospital is where you will find three women, inside an operating room – making COVID-19 test kits.

 It starts with a tube and pipet.

“They’re putting a reagent  – saline buffer phosphate,” Tammy Hays said. “They’re using a sterile tube that’ll be closed up.” 

Each tube is sealed inside a biohazard specimen bag.

“[Then] We send them to our clinics with swabs I’ve gotten and that way they can test the patients there or they’ll do at our tests sites cause we have three of them,” Hays said.

The test kits will be sent to clinics not just in Arkansas but in Missouri and Oklahoma. 

Lab manager Tammy Hays says Quest Diagnostics advised her on how to make the kits. So, she went to the Asst. Administrator Scott Taylor.

“She came to us and was like if you get me X, Y, Z – I can start putting together test kits for our supply here,” Taylor said.

Then, Hays reached out to local medical vendors for the supplies and asked Lab Tech Kaja Edwards and Nurse Jackie Powell for help. 

“We’re ready to make 500 more to a thousand,” Hays said.

Within an hour, the women are able to make 250 test kits. 

Taylor says they’re even making kits to send to other areas in the state.

“For us, it’s not about what we can get as far as reimbursed for any test because we don’t expect that to happen, nor should we,” Taylor said. “It’s about increasing the capacity to test and getting as many people tested at possible.” 

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