NorthShore University Health System announced last week that it had developed a test for coronavirus and that it is being used at Evanston Hospital. NorthShore has been testing 400 patients a day and plans to increase the number to 500 a day.

NorthShore says it was able to develop the test as a result of it success with the swine flu ten years ago.

On its website NorthShore says, “Testing for COVID-19 remains limited and must be prioritized for individuals who have more severe signs of possible infection. While NorthShore has developed internal testing capabilities, these will be prioritized for patients with the appropriate symptoms and whose influenza, RSV, and as appropriate other respiratory viral panels are negative.

“Our physicians and advanced practice providers will make a determination for testing following their evaluation; this means that testing is based on clinical criteria that continue to evolve. Not everyone who requests testing will receive testing; the need for COVID-19 testing is a clinical decision. We continue to coordinate our testing program with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).”

NorthShore says it is currently treating NorthShore is currently treating patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection, but it has not said how many.

“We have a dedicated clinical team to provide any COVID-19 patients with supportive care,” says Northshore. “Further, we have appropriate protocols in place to make sure all of our patients, visitors, staff and the communities we serve are safe.”