• By Jay Furst

Mayo Clinic Laboratories significantly expands testing capability for the COVID-19 virus

March 19, 2020

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has significantly expanded its capacity to test clinical samples for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. With new equipment that went online Tuesday, Mayo Clinic Laboratories now has the capacity to process COVID-19 test samples from all Mayo Clinic sites. In addition, it has begun processing test samples from its clients across Minnesota, including eight major health systems.

"The capability to test and process clinical samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus is urgently needed nationwide and we have been working around the clock to make this expansion happen as quickly as possible," says William Morice, II, M.D., Ph.D., president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories and chair of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. "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."

The expanded capacity is made possible by three high-throughput diagnostic processors from Roche Diagnostics, running the Roche cobas® SARS-CoV-2 Test. These instruments are in operation at Mayo Clinic's Superior Drive Support Center in Rochester.

This test processing capability is in addition to the COVID-19 testing developed by Mayo Clinic's Clinical Virology Laboratory. Announced last week, that test process is available for the Mayo Clinic practice. The Clinical Virology Laboratory, directed by microbiologist Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., has also increased its capacity as of Wednesday.

With all testing options, Mayo Clinic now can process as many as 4,000 COVID-19 tests daily. Dr. Morice says that number likely will grow in coming weeks. "We anticipate that with the ongoing need for COVID-19 testing that we will need to expand our capabilities, and we're prepared to do that," he says.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality b-roll of the laboratory is in the downloads at the end of the post. "Right-click/save-as" for images below. Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network." 

Check the CDC website for additional updates on COVID-19. For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

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About Mayo Clinic Laboratories
The Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and its reference laboratory, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, provide advanced testing and pathology services for 4,000 health care organizations around the world. Mayo Clinic Laboratories offers more than 3,200 tests and pathology services and performs more than 25 million tests annually. Revenue is used to support medical education and research at Mayo Clinic.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network and An Inside Look at Mayo Clinic for more information.

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