UC Health launches in-house coronavirus tests

In an effort to increase California’s testing capacity, the University of California’s five academic medical centers are launching their own in-house COVID-19 test kits to be used in hospitals and clinics.

 

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In a legislative briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Carrie Byington, Executive Vice President of UC Health, provided an update on the health system’s response to COVID-19. The UC Health system has provided care for 11 patients with the novel coronavirus — including patients that acquired the disease through travel and through community spread — along with about 80 individuals that are under investigation.

Byington says that as of Tuesday, the medical center laboratories at UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, and UCLA are offering the in-house test kits, which have a turnaround time of less than 24 hours. She says the other two medical center laboratories — UC Irvine and UC Davis — will have their tests running soon. 

“All five of our medical center laboratories have designed tests for COVID-19 and all of them are working through the approval process and validation process to offer that testing across the state,” said Byington. “We are hopeful that this will really aid the state in getting more people tested.”