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Volunteer pilots from Nashville help speed up COVID-19 test results

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Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 19:58:22-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A group of pilots are proving that kindness isn't canceled, by turning their passion into a plan to speed up COVID-19 testing.

Angel Flight Soars is a nonprofit consisting of volunteer civilian pilots, who use their own planes to typically transport patients. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, they've started transporting COVID-19 tests to a Pathgroup Lab in Nashville.

Many of the samples involve patients already hospitalized because of COVID-19 or health care workers who are waiting for results to see if they can get back to work.

"The quicker that we can get these specimens and turn the results around, the quicker they can start treating the patients or a healthcare provider can get back to work," said Steve Young, executive vice president of sales for Pathgroup Labs.

Saturday, Joe Creecy, a Nashville based pilot, flew from Atlanta to Nashville with dozens of tests on board from North Carolina and Georgia. After he landed at John C. Tune airport, the tests were rushed to Pathgroup. If the tests were transported by ground, the process could have taken days.

"We can turn around the specimens in a matter of hours instead of a day or two," said Young.

Creecy says he's honored to be a part of a solution in these uncertain times.

"It’s rewarding. This is a unique time for all of us," he said.

Sunday will mark the 12th COVID-19 testing flight Angel Flight Soars has conducted into Nashville since the pandemic began. They are continuing their normal mission of free patient transports during the pandemic as well. For more information on their program, click here: http://www.angelflightsoars.org/