Samaritan’s COVID-19 rapid testing allows for faster action, greater peace of mind


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Samaritan Medical Center is now offering rapid testing for COVID-19, with results for certain patients available in approximately one hour.

Samaritan’s Laboratory began rapid testing on Thursday, April 16th, after acquiring the Cepheid GeneXpert® XVI testing instrument. The instrument enables technicians to get results from a COVID-19 test in about one hour, while other lab instruments take between four and six hours.

Tests that need to be sent to a reference laboratory take longer, typically one or two days.

“We are proud to have such an advanced testing capability right here in our community,” said Tony Marra, Samaritan’s Director of Laboratory Services. “This investment greatly reduces testing turnaround time, which can give patients peace of mind and allow our providers to take action faster, if necessary.”

Tony Marra also stated that rapid testing allows the health care team use less personal protective equipment.

Due to the limited number of tests available, only the following patients will receive rapid testing at this time:

  • inpatients of the hospital or emergency department
  • residents of long-term care facilities
  • other expedited cases, like healthcare workers

All other specimens will continue to be sent to the reference laboratory in New Jersey until more tests become available.

Samaritan’s COVID-19 Resource Line is staffed seven days a week from 7am-11pm by calling 315-755-3100. All community members who think they might need testing, have symptoms, or may have had contact with COVID-19 are encouraged to call and have their concerns addressed by the professional team staffing the line.


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