TriCore’s focus is on the health, well-being, and safety of our employees, patients, and partners. We are closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and will keep you appraised of the situation. Please check back often, as this information is changing rapidly.
NMDOH is integrating all TriCore volume and percent positive data into the COVID-19 counts on their website. Please use the NMDOH website as the single source of NM COVID-19 testing volumes and results.COVID-19 in New Mexico
TriCore launched the CDC assay for COVID-19 testing on March 12, 2020, one day after the first positive case in New Mexico. Since that time, we have brought live multiple testing platforms to increase testing capacity for our community. In addition to maximizing our instrument testing pool at our core laboratory in Albuquerque, we have decentralized testing to our hospital labs statewide and our Southern New Mexico Core lab in Las Cruces. Our diversification strategy - multiple platforms, multiple methodologies and multiple locations – allows us maintain testing during potential reagent shortages by any one manufacturer.
COVID-19 in TriCore’s Directory of Service: COVID-19 Test
TriCore Reference Laboratories offers a molecular diagnostic test of respiratory specimens for COVID-19 infection. Please find the most up-to-date information on this test in our Test Directory, via the link above or accessible on tricore.org in the provider section (enter COVID). Information maintained in the Test Directory includes: list price, CPT code, collection and transport instructions, and turnaround (TAT) time.
COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Ordering
Collection Kits and Supplies As you are likely aware, there is a national allocation of collection kit supplies. If you are facing a shortage, the New Mexico Department of Health is your best resource at this time. As an alternative to the VTM, TriCore can now accept swabs in sterile saline or liquid amies for COVID-19.
TriCore Turnaround Time Turnaround time is impacted by changes in volume and availability of testing resources from manufacturers. We are prioritizing testing, ensuring the tests most impacting patient care are processed ahead of surveillance and asymptomatic testing. Based on allocation limits for testing reagents, current TAT on COVID specimens is as follows:
FAQs SARS-CoV-2 Test Performance Explained: FAQs SARS-CoV-2 Test Performance Sensitivity and Specificity Fact Sheet The sensitivity and specificity fact sheet, above, offers answers to these frequently asked questions:
TriCore’s RESPAN panel We have had several questions about the respiratory panel (RESPAN) test used at TriCore. RESPAN detects 4 variants of the coronavirus (OC43, NL63, HKU1, 229E). These strains are different from the SARS-CoV-2 strain. Based on analysis by the manufacturer, our current test will not detect SARS-CoV-2.
Unlike molecular tests used to detect the SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA from nasopharyngeal and other respiratory specimens, serological tests are blood tests that are used to detect the presence of antibodies produced by the immune system in response to the infection. TriCore offers this test for specific indications with a provider order. For an overview of the test and the indications for testing, please review the technical note: http://www.tricore.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/version/download/068f3000006UxKZAA0