Mayo Clinic Labs Increase COVID-19 Testing in Minnesota
Responding to the intense need for testing, the Mayo Clinic Laboratories has expanded its ability to process coronavirus tests.
This comes in the midst of ongoing confusion surrounding COVID-19 testing, vacillating messages around testing, and issues around who is allowed to be tested. There are also questions buzzing about why the elite, wealthy, connected, and famous are able to get tested without having symptoms or being exposed.
But testing is starting to ramp up in Minnesota, with Mayo now being able to process up to 4,000 COVID-19 tests a day, with that number anticipated to grow, according to Dr. William Morice, the president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories and chair of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. The organization is prepared to expand its testing capabilities even more going forward.
“Our expanded capacity will expedite caring for patients at this critical time, and hopefully will ease the burden being felt at test processing laboratories in Minnesota and a growing number of geographies,” Morice said in a news release.
Mayo has also started processing test samples from across Minnesota, including at eight major health systems. The organization is using three high-throughput diagnostic processors, which are in operation in Rochester.
“The capability to test and process clinical samples for the [COVID-19] virus is urgently needed nationwide and we have been working around the clock to make this expansion happen as quickly as possible,” Morice said.
This expansion also follows Mayo’s development of a fully-validated COVID-19 test, announced last week.
“Our plan is to offer this test to anyone here at Mayo and around the country, and even from patients seen in other countries,” said Dr. Matthew Binnicker, clinical microbiologist and director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo, in the release.
That lab also increased its testing capacity this week.
“This is an issue the whole world is grappling with, so we felt like this was our moral obligation to offer testing to as many people as we can,” Binnicker said.