NYC opens own coronavirus testing lab

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New York City is opening its own coronavirus testing lab as it grapples with how to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the biggest complaints New Yorkers have about coronavirus testing has been the delay in getting test results. The city is therefore taking matters into its own hands by opening the laboratory designed to produce rapid results.

“This is encouraging news because you can’t quarantine yourself when you don’t know exactly how long your test results are going to take, if it takes two weeks it really defeats the purpose of the test. test, ”said Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer of WebMD.

The new facility, called the Pandemic Response Laboratory (PRL), is already operational. It is located inside the Alexandria Center for Life Science on East 29th Street. James Patchett is president and CEO of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which spearheaded this effort alongside a small robotics firm in Brooklyn and NYU Lagnone. Patchett tells Fox 5 that in order for the process to take place quickly inside the lab, robotic arms will move sample trays between different testing stations.

“Using robotics when the process has various stages really allows it to be sped up and ensure faster turnaround times for New Yorkers,” Patchett said.

Instead of depending on large private labs – which handle testing across the country – this new facility prioritizes New York residents. Tests will be available within 24 to 48 hours. To be clear – PRL is not a testing site, but rather a COVID-19 test results processing lab for New York City Health + hospitals. New Yorkers should continue to get tested at one of the city’s many venues.

“This is a really good statement about what New York can do, we can fix this on our own, if we put our minds together we’re going to get there, we’re not going to just rely on supply chains global or federal government. to come to the rescue, we’ve learned our lesson the hard way, ”Patchett said.

The city pays the lab $ 28 per test result, while it would normally shell out more than $ 100 per test at large national lab companies. At first, PRL will only process a few thousand tests per day, but is expected to eventually test more than 20,000 samples per day, possibly including some public school students and teachers, according to the reports. needs.

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