HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - For weeks, local health officials have limited COVID-19 tests to people with symptoms. Now, Huntsville Hospital announced it will begin testing asymptomatic patients.
Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said the hospital has more supplies than sick people. He said the staff will now open testing up to anyone who wants a test.
Spillers said the hospital can do more tests than the staff is currently performing and there has been a demand for asymptomatic testing from individuals and companies.
Over the last few weeks, Spillers was adamant the supplies were not there and testing everyone would cost too much. But now eight weeks after the first positive coronavirus case in Madison County, Spillers is confident the hospital has enough supplies to open testing.
“We don't want the tests to go unused. We think there is ample supply and production across the country is going up to the point if there is another surge there will be far more material the next time around. Based on that, we are looking to changing our criteria,” said Spillers. “We have to make sure we have enough for our patients, enough for our employees, and enough for those who are sick, and then after that we want to start allocating a portion to people who have the desire to be tested.”
Huntsville Hospital plans to also offer antibody testing for those who would like to see if they have already had the virus.
If you have health insurance, COVID-19 testing should be covered by your provider. If you are uninsured, you must have a doctor prescribe you a test.
We will update you when the new Huntsville Hospital testing criteria is announced later this week.
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