University Labs Expand COVID-19 Testing Capacity, Screening Thousands Each Day

March 19, 2020 Updated: March 19, 2020
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As many on-campus medical labs across the United States have been mothballed due to the spread of the CCP virus, the cause of the disease known as COVID-19, some remain open and are steadfastly increasing their virus-testing availability and capacity.

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) started developing their own virus-testing method in December 2019, when a cluster of COVID-19 cases was made known to the world outside China, despite the CCP’s coverup efforts. Washington state’s King County, where UW is located, became ground zero for the pandemic after the first COVID-19 infections on American soil.

As of March 12, the UW Virology Laboratory had capacity for 2,200 specimens per day, according to Washington state’s health department. The lab’s current goal is to be able to perform 5,000 tests per day.

In California, Stanford University reported that its clinical virology lab is testing hundreds of patient samples each day from around the Bay Area and beyond, delivering results within 24 hours. The lab hopes to expand its testing capacity to 1,000 per day by next week.

“We are tapping into the rich resources of Stanford University and Stanford Health Care to scale up our capacity as quickly as possible to provide the tests that clinicians need to care for their patients,” said lab medical director Benjamin Pinsky in a statement. His team worked through January and February to make sure the tests they designed meet federal standards.

“Very few other places in the country are capable of providing this scale of COVID-19 testing at this point,” Pinsky said. “Fortunately, we had the foresight in January to imagine that the ability to provide testing for COVID-19 would be important, and we worked hard to make that happen.”

The UW and Stanford labs are among the United States’ leading academic facilities in testing capacity, according to a tracker created by conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Other universities conducting tests are Yale University, the University of California’s medical centers, Washington University in St. Louis, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the NorthShore University Health System in Illinois.

As of Mar. 17, the AEI estimated national testing capacity, with two samples per patient, was at 36,810 tests per day. That number is expected to substantially grow to over 100,000 by the end of the month.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.