Tribe discontinues quick COVID-19 tests
May 22, 2020
The Fond du Lac human services department announced Tuesday that the Min No Aya Win Clinic was going to stop offering the Abbott ID NOW point-of-care tests for COVID-19, which provided results within 20 minutes, because of concerns about the accuracy of the tests. The tests may return false negative results, according to a U.S. Food and Drug
Administration press release from May 14.
The clinic will continue to offer the second test, which goes through the Mayo Clinic and provides results within 1-5 days.
According to the official Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Facebook page, medical director Dr. Charity Reynolds and laboratory director Lisa Hollinday researched the information with Abbott Laboratories and with the Bemidji Area Indian Health Service. After thorough research and investigation it was decided that the immediate removal of the Abbott ID NOW test was necessary, until further research has been conducted by Abbott Laboratories and the FDA verifies its accuracy.
The clinic has reassessed patients who received the test and scheduled additional testing, if appropriate.
Community Memorial Hospital was not using the point-of-care tests and its processes will not change.
“We don’t test here,” explained CMH lab director Nikki Wilmes. “We swab the patient, place it in viral transport media and send out.” Wilmes said specimens are collected at the mobile clinic at CMH Raiter Clinic and sent to LabCorp to be tested. Hospital specimens are sent to St. Luke’s in Duluth, which sends them to Mayo for testing. Both testing groups use molecular tests.