In Wray, Colorado, the Wray Community District Hospital was one of the first rural hospitals to be on allocation for the SARS COVID-19 PCR testing. Prior to receiving the new equipment, the hospital only had access to a small four bay test analyzer. This smaller analyzer was already overwhelmed with the regular day to day testing, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The hospital staff realized that as the number of COVID-19 cases increased dramatically, they needed a new analyzer, and came to Rural Development for assistance.
The equipment was a great fit for the Community Facilities (CF) Grant Program. The program provides essential community infrastructure to ensure that rural areas have access to the same basic quality of life and services enjoyed by those in urban areas. The program has funding through direct loans, loan guarantees and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across rural America.
USDA Rural Development provided a $50,000 CF Grant to support the purchase of a new larger Cepheid analyzer to aid in testing for the COVID-19 virus. Rapid testing allows hospitals to help patients trace, contain, and combat the spread of COVID-19. Being able to contact the customer with their test results within hours instead of days has helped reduce the impact of the virus on this small rural community. The new 12 bay test analyzer is able to provide results within 45 minutes! The equipment was delivered in October and has been utilized daily since its delivery. From April to December 2020, the hospital has run over 500 PCR COVID tests. While they also send out many tests, this is a pretty impressive number, considering they are a small rural hospital and their allocation limits.
The addition of this equipment has improved the Lab Technician's time and speed in which the testing can be completed. The analyzer is heavily utilized for testing prior to surgeries and for a variety of other procedures. The equipment will continue to be an asset to this rural hospital for many years and improve the care for patients.
This is a great example of when rural America thrives, we all thrive.