Members of the “KGH Panther Team” (left to right): Angella Knight, Maxwell McLaughlin, Stephanie Chabot, Kendra Soukeroff, Dr. Amanda Wilmer, Dr. Melissa Caza. (Interior Health)

Members of the “KGH Panther Team” (left to right): Angella Knight, Maxwell McLaughlin, Stephanie Chabot, Kendra Soukeroff, Dr. Amanda Wilmer, Dr. Melissa Caza. (Interior Health)

New ‘Panther’ machines fast-track COVID-19 testing in Interior Health

The new tech will help IH process more than 1,600 COVID-19 tests a day, up from 900

New technology at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kamloops is helping Interior Health process COVID-19 tests much faster.

The new machine, the Panther Fusion System, is a combination of instruments and laboratory tools that increase the capacity of facilities to perform testing on COVID-19 samples.

With the new method available, Interior Health (IH) can now process over 1,600 samples a day, up from the previous 900 samples a day it was able to process.

IH said renovations had to take place at both KGH and RIH to make room for the Panther units.

“The KGH lab increased its size by 1,2000 square feet. A project that normally may have taken nine months was completed in nine weeks to allow for the Panther,” IH said in a statement.

RIH already had a first-generation Panther machine in place, so renovations had to be done in a tight space to accommodate a new machine as well as a biological safety cabinet — a ventilated workspace in which health-care workers can safely handle potentially dangerous materials. IH said the recent renovation came just after another renovation in the micro department last year.

“There was a big effort that went into increasing our capacity to test COVID-19 samples and making sure our communities stay safe,” Okanagan director of lab operations Hope Byrne said.

“It’s a credit to the dedication of the teams involved to provide this enhanced testing to patients in Interior Health.”

IH said it is now looking for medical lab technologists to help operate the new Panther machines.

READ: RCMP pay another visit to Kelowna church already fined for defying public health orders


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

A CVIS grant would be an opportunity to support the purchase and installation of high definition cameras and audio systems over the ice surfaces in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Quesnel. (Patrick Davies photo / Black Press Media)
CRD to apply for grant to install high-def cameras, audio at ice arenas for streaming

The cost of the project is estimated at $250,000 for installation at all three recreation facilities

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in South Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Jason Noble and his longtime partner Marilyn Martin (Photo submitted)
ROTARY MONTH: Camaraderie, helping others fuels Rotary Club of Williams Lake Daybreak

For the past year-and-a-half Martin has served as the club’s secretary; Noble as president

Rotary Club of Williams Lake members, including president Mike Austin (second from left), cook up breakfasts during a Stampede breakfast this past summer. (Photo submitted)
ROTARY MONTH: Rotary Club of Williams Lake looking to get back to business

While COVID-19 made most of 2020 and the start of the new… Continue reading

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Most Read