County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced in a Hamilton County Commission meeting this morning that the research lab at Baylor School has been certified as a clinical lab to test COVID-19 samples and will be leased by the county to help with efforts to identify and prevent the spread of the virus.
As reported last week, Baylor faculty members Dr. Elizabeth Forrester and Dr. Dawn Richards, who are also Ph.D. research scientists, developed a testing protocol for COVID-19 and have been preparing to help with the area’s response to COVID-19 testing as needed.
NOTE: Baylor will not be a public testing site. Our lab will be used for testing samples provided by local health officials from other test locations.
No individual will go to Baylor’s campus for any testing. The swabs will be collected each morning at Erlanger, CHI Memorial and Parkridge hospitals and taken to the Baylor lab. Coppinger said Baylor’s lab will be able to do about 65 tests daily, which will give hospital workers and patients priority. After more equipment becomes available, the lab could test up to 300 tests daily.
Dr. Forrester and Dr. Richards are trained in molecular biology and in working with viruses, and have the specialized equipment in their lab at Baylor to provide necessary assistance.
Watch the Hamilton County Commission meeting on their Facebook page here:
Read more about this morning’s commission meeting and remarks by Mayor.
Read a Chattanooga Times Free Press article on the lab protocols developed at Baylor.
This is a developing story and updates will be provided when they become available.