Quest stated that average turnaround time, or the time from the individual takes a test to when results are yielded from a lab, for all populations continued to be about 1-2 days, while turnaround time for property populations--hospitalized patients, individuals in long-term care, and presurgical patients--is about one day.
"Although demand for COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing has recently declined, the spread of more infectious variants and loosening of restrictions in certain parts of the [United States] could lead to another surge of cases," Quest said in a statement. "Moreover, COVID-19 testing continues to play a significant role in pandemic response."
Additionally, the company announced that it will now genetically sequence 2,000 test samples per week, up from the 1,000 per week the company started to do back in January under a partnership with the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.). The genetic sequencing will help the federal health agency track how preventant new COVID mutations are throughout the country in order to better mitigation efforts.
Last week, the C.D.C. recommended that K-12 schools implement coronavirus screening of students, teachers and staff in areas of moderate to high levels of infection as part of the Biden administration's plan to reopen schools for in-person learning across the country.
Quest stated that it has continued to expand its testing capacity to provide as many as 230,000 tests per day, with that capacity expected to expand in the future.
As part of the White House's plan to reopen schools, the C.D.C. has also asked schools to adopt mitigation strategies including universal mask wearing, physical distancing, and contact tracing, regardless of the level of community transmission in the area the school is located.
The C.D.C. noted that its new guidance may need to be updated as new coronavirus variants continue to spread throughout the country.