LCMC Health and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) is offering free testing for COVID-19 and antibody testing to Region 1 First Responders. This includes police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel from Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard Parishes.
“Through this innovative partnership with LCMC and LSUHSC, we are proud to provide accessible testing to the first responder community who are on the front-lines of public health and safety, providing vital, often life-saving services to our community,” said Dr. John Heaton, LCMC Health president of clinical and system operations.
The free testing takes place on the University Medical Center New Orleans (UMC) campus in the newly constructed Outpatient Surgery Center. This service is offered Monday-Friday, with approximately 90-95 tests taken per day, and will continue for the foreseeable future. Laboratories at UMC and LSUHSC will process the results.
“We are grateful for the opportunity, along with LCMC Health, to give back to our first responders,” notes Larry Hollier, MD, chancellor of LSU Health New Orleans. “We feel privileged to help keep our partners on the front lines of this pandemic safer and healthier by making testing available and accessible. We appreciate all they have done, often at the risk of their own well-being.”
Offering testing to the first responder community is another in a series of community testing efforts led by LCMC Health. Through a program launched April 21, the health system joined forces with LSUHSC, the New Orleans Health Department and Jefferson Parish, conducting more than 6,000 free tests at community, neighborhood-based walk-up sites.
LCMC Health offered the region’s first drive-through testing for symptomatic patients at West Jefferson Medical Center and created tent-based Emergency Room annex testing at New Orleans East Hospital, Touro Infirmary, and UMC.
Recently, New Orleans East Hospital offered free testing to all Orleans Parish Criminal Court employees.
These services will be offered at no cost to the first responders in part through the donation of funds and testing equipment from Hyundai Auto that was obtained through the office of Congressman Cedric Richmond.