UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — On Wednesday, the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) and Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI) announced a new partnership to process MVHS COVID-19 tests at the MMRI laboratory. Under this new partnership, MVHS will collect the COVID-19 test sample from the patient and send it to MMRI. MMRI will run the test and send the results back to MVHS the same day.

“This partnership creates a local solution to a national problem,” said Darlene Stromstad, FACHE, MVHS president/CEO. “Like many hospitals across the country, we’ve had a challenge getting adequate supplies of testing materials. The very limited supply of “rapid” COVID-19 tests that produce results in 45 to 90 minutes has meant we have had to send our tests out to be run in other states, sometimes taking up to three days or longer to obtain results. Waiting for results has often led to longer hospital stays (particularly for nursing home patients who must test negative before they can go back to the home) and in some cases has delayed elective procedures. Now, we will be able to send our rapid tests to MMRI and get our results back the same day. And, it’s all accomplished right here in our region.”

“We are eager, willing and will do what is necessary to assist with whatever is asked of us,” said Dr. Maria Kontaridis, MMRI Executive Director of Research. “By partnering with MVHS and becoming a state testing laboratory for COVID-19 we hope to help local officials and physicians better manage their patients, reduce the deleterious effects of COVID-19, and help us all get our lives back to normal sooner.”