Covid-19 Situation Update At Five Laboratories
Viracor Eurofins Laboratories (Lee’s Summit, MO) has the capacity to perform 2,000 PCR-based Covid-19 tests per day; however, about 50% of that capacity is currently unused, according to Steven Kleiboeker, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development. Nationwide, Eurofins U.S. Clinical Diagnostics, which includes Viracor and six other laboratories, has the capacity to run up to 10,000 PCR tests per day and expects to triple that number by the end of this month.
Viracor launched Covid-19 antibody testing on May 5 and has the capacity to perform more than 2,000 tests per day with a 24-hour turnaround from specimen receipt. Nationwide, Kleiboeker says that Eurofins’ seven labs can currently perform up to 10,000 antibody tests per day with capacity expected to triple by the end of this month.
Kleiboeker expects the demand for Covid-19 testing to increase dramatically as lockdowns in many states have begun to be lifted. That being said, Eurofins currently has excess testing capacity. “This is due to a variety of factors, including hospitals taking their testing in-house, supply-chain issues, and on the coasts, exclusive deals between the top insurance companies and the two largest labs,” according to Kleiboeker.
ARUP Labs is currently performing between 3,000 and 3,500 PCR-based Covid-19 tests per day and steadily increasing its capacity, according to Julio Delgado, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Labs. He says that the swab and test kit supply situation has improved over the past few weeks and that ARUP has expanded its Covid-19 testing from Utah patients only to nationwide. In addition, ARUP began Covid-19 antibody testing in late April and is now performing about 5,000 antibody tests per day with steadily increasing capacity.
Northwell Health Labs
Northwell is currently performing about 2,000 PCR-based Covid-19 tests per day, according to James Crawford, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President for Laboratory Services. He says daily positivity rates for Covid testing peaked at 63% on March 31 and have now fallen to roughly 15%. In response to shortages, Northwell has begun using its own self-manufactured 3D swabs, which were clinically validated before deploying. In addition, Northwell started performing antibody testing on May 1 using multiple commercial platforms. Northwell is currently performing about 5,000 antibody tests per day and is in the process of testing its 70,000 employees.
American Health Associates
American Health Associates (Davie, FL), which provides lab testing services to more than 4,000 nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, recently began performing PCR-based Covid-19 testing and serum antibody testing at its corporate laboratory near Miami. Previously, AHA had sent its Covid-19 test samples to LabCorp. AHA is using the 7500 Fast Dx instrument from Thermo Fisher Scientific in combination with Thermo’s 96 Kingfisher auto extraction unit for PCR-based Covid-19 testing. AHA will be using Abbott’s Covid-19 antibody test. In addition, AHA plans to soon add Covid-19 testing capabilities to its labs in Atlanta and Cincinnati, according to CEO Chris Martin. AHA is currently performing an average of roughly 100 PCR-based Covid-19 tests per day and 350 antibody tests. Martin expects AHA’s Covid-19 testing volume to expand rapidly in the coming weeks.
To date (through May 6), BioReference has performed approximately 700,000 PCR-based Covid-19 tests, is currently performing about 20,000 tests per day, and plans to reach 40,000 by the end of the month. In late April, BioReference started offering Covid-19 antibody testing. Capacity is currently 20,000 tests per day and is expected to reach 400,000 tests per day in June, according to Jon Cohen, MD, Executive Chairman of BioReference Labs. Roche will be the primary antibody assay used by BioReference.