Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced that the state's health department has partnered with Baptist Health in order to increase Covid-19 testing capacity by 20%.
“What I've said, probably a month ago, when we started having serious issues with our commercial labs and their production and their reliability on the test, is that we needed to control our own destiny,” Hutchinson said. “And so today, as part of controlling our own destiny, I'm pleased to announce the Department of Health partnership with Baptist Health.”
According to the governor, the department of health will refer 50% of the tests that come in to Baptist Health for its analysis and will provide the personnel to operate the commercially rated lab equipment, which the department of health is providing.
Baptist Health will be operating the equipment 24 hours per day, seven days a week, according to Hutchinson.
The state expects to be operational with the new equipment, which will run over 1,000 tests a day, by Oct. 1.