New Tiger Stadium restrictions could make COVID tests harder to find
BATON ROUGE - Unvaccinated Tiger fans should plan ahead for home games this football season.
For those who haven't gotten the shot, university officials announced Tuesday that a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours of entering Tiger Stadium will be required. With urgent care centers in the capital area inundated with patients, obtaining a test could be tough.
"We have something that's called a STAT option for PCR tests where we can get you the results within six hours, and then we also have an option within 24 hours," said Rachael Slaughter, co-owner of Orion Labs.
Getting the results from a PCR test in a time crunch can also add up.
"There's an upcharge to do the faster test, the STAT. It's $249, and then it's $119 for the next-day results. I'm not sure exactly what would be a lower price than ours," Slaughter said.
Costs will vary with insurance and location. Depending on the clinic, results may not be guaranteed to come in by kickoff. Slaughter recommends choosing a local lab like Orion for faster results.
"Everything is processed right here in Baton Rouge. The drive-thru is here in Baton Rouge as well, so we don't have to send any samples out that take extra days as some other laboratories may do," Slaughter said.
Tiger fans also need to know the difference between a rapid test and a PCR test.
"PCR test is a completely different animal than a rapid test. There's a larger margin of error in a rapid test than a PCR," Slaughter said.
Regardless, the increase in demand is becoming a tougher task every day.
"We have a couple of instruments as well that can run thousands of samples per day, up to 30,000 samples a day if we choose. So we're very well prepared for that," Slaughter said.
For now, LSU officials haven't determined whether the university will provide free testing or vaccination clinics for fans.
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