Quest credits FDA with speeding COVID-19 testing, turnaround times

Quest Diagnostics said July 29 that the FDA has granted emergency use authorization for a new lab technique that speeds up the COVID-19 testing process and will allow it to expand its daily testing capacity and improve turnaround times. 

The method speeds the extraction of viral RNA from COVID-19 test samples and can be used in pooled testing to further increase capacity. 

Quest now can perform 135,000 tests per day, and the new method is expected to add another 35,000 tests per day in the next several weeks.

Quest said it expects to be able to perform 150,000 tests per day by next week and 185,000 per day by Labor Day. 

The new technique will help Quest to speed average turnaround times to one day for  priority patients and two to three days for all other patients, the company said. 

Read the full news release here.

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