Providence to begin processing COVID-19 tests at regional lab

Providence says that its lab facility in Portland now has what it needs to start running tests on coronavirus samples from their regional hospitals.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 6:03 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2020 6:19 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — A new development from Providence Health & Services could greatly speed the process of testing for the new coronavirus in Oregon. The hospital network says that its lab in Portland now has the capability to conduct tests on collected samples of suspected COVID-19 patients.

The Providence Molecular Genomics Lab in Portland will process tests collected at the eight Providence hospitals throughout Oregon. According to the company, they are able to process between 500 and 600 patient tests every day — and expect to run the lab seven days a week to help meet the massive demand.

As of Tuesday, Providence said that it had received more than 300 patient samples.

"We have been developing three different tests to provide backup should we have difficulty getting supplies," Providence said in a statement.

The primary test is run on a high throughput instrument from Roche. This was the first commercial test for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) to receive FDA Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S.

The other two are manual tests. One is based on the CDC protocol and the other is based on a protocol published on the WHO website.


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Providence expects to release results of any single test within 24 hours after receiving the sample in the lab, though that could change as the lab's capacity increases.

"Our lab has over 20 years of experience in advanced molecular testing," Providence said. "We have validated many of these lab developed tests for infectious disease over the years. Back in 2009 during the Influenza H1N1 pandemic, our lab was the only one doing this kind of testing in our state."

At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., only public health labs — such as those operated by the CDC or by state agencies — were allowed to test for the virus. Providence said that it started preparing in case that were to change, which it has since.

"We are fortunate to have seen many advances over the last 10 years and now our colleagues in other hospital labs have the skills and equipment to do this. They are actively developing COVID-19 tests so that our entire community can be served," Providence said.

Still, the new lab does not equate to unlimited testing capacity in Oregon. Providence said that it has enough materials right now to test 2,000 to 3,000 people, and they are working on keeping supply lines open.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3559311

Reported Deaths: 51794
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118923221241
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2860772783
Orange2607213982
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1102371777
Kern102627811
Fresno950151422
Sacramento929611464
Alameda802791241
Ventura77395834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55887946
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38872515
San Francisco34138398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano30024164
Merced28915395
Sonoma28004298
Imperial26855589
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15414209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12787185
Shasta10969174
Butte10922160
El Dorado9095100
Napa899869
Sutter884597
San Benito575259
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada394074
Mendocino379643
Amador344841
Humboldt318033
Lake314140
Glenn221923
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
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