Doctors Hospital Health System (DHHS) has successfully administered one million SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) tests since launching its Massive Testing Initiative for COVID-19 in June of 2020.
The milestone came in early February 2022 as a direct result of DHHS’ multifaceted testing program featuring RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests being issued at multiple sites across New Providence, Grand Bahama and Exuma.
DHHS began Covid 19 ‘drive thru’ testing at Doctors Hospital West, later expanding to include testing facilities at Carmichael Road, Mackey Street, Winton, signature testing at Baha Mar, and former testing spaces at Town Centre Mall and the British Colonial Hilton. Also driving the count was the DHHS’ Rhythm of Testing initiative, launched in November 2020, a system of testing vendors and employees every 5 – 7 days in our partner hotels.
This initiative, combined with other Covid mitigation implementations allowed for early identification and removal of Covid positive cases and infectious persons with mild or minimal symptoms, thereby minimizing transmission risk in the workplace and guest spaces. This ultimately contributed to the successful reopening of the Bahamian tourism economy. The likelihood of testing positive in COVID-19 rapid antigen testing was lower in clients who utilized the Rhythm initiative alongside daily risk screening for COVID-19 (1.2% overall test positivity), than those in the general population and clients who did not use this approach (2.0% overall test positivity).
According to internal lab data, the positivity rate for the RT-PCR tests was 15%, peaking at 43% in January of this year. Additionally, the positivity rate for the Rapid Antigen tests was 2%, also peaking at 7.6% this past January. DHHS President & CEO Dr Charles Diggiss lauded the energy and enthusiasm of staff and personnel at DHHS, calling them “the key to our continued success” in the fight against Covid-19. He went on to note DHHS’ contracting of an additional 450 persons to provide the testing services.
“Doctors Hospital continues to perform strongly in the testing and the treatment spaces for Covid-19,” he said. “We hope, like many, that Covid 19 becomes less of a challenge to our resources and less of a burden on our healthcare delivery services in the future. However we
remain positioned and committed to navigating through Covid 19 exacerbations with minimal morbidity and loss of life and optimal opportunities for Bahamians to provide services.”
Efforts are ongoing at DHHS to support national testing and to continue to treat serious/severe cases of COVID-19.