Quest Diagnostics Media Statement about COVID-19 Testing
This is an evolving situation. Please check back to this page periodically for the latest information.
Test Volume as of 6/29/2020

B-Roll and Photos:

Testing: https://app.box.com/s/djpwi9bt8bwnaptdvvvtxkgotszvw0hp

Self Collection Kit: https://app.box.com/folder/113718418170

Posted June 29, 2020, 5:15 pm EDT 

Demand for COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing reaches unprecedented levels, extending turnaround times

Quest Diagnostics has performed and reported results of approximately 5.75 million COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests and approximately 2.20 million COVID-19 antibody tests.

In our media statement posted June 25, we communicated that we are experiencing surging demand for our COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing services. We also communicated that this demand is likely to extend average turnaround times* for reporting test results near term.  

Since that statement, we have continued to experience surging demand for these services, with recent daily orders outpacing capacity. As a result, while our average turnaround time continues to be 1 day for priority 1 patients**, it is now 3-5 days for all other populations.

We are ramping up our capacity to reach 150,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day. This week, we expect to ramp up our capacity to reach 115,000 of these tests a day.

While we have the supplies to meet our current capacity target, we continue to work with our industry partners on platforms, reagent test kits and other supplies to ramp to our target capacity of 150,000 tests a day.

We will monitor the situation and provide additional updates should significant changes occur with our COVID-19 testing. We recognize the critical role laboratory testing plays in pandemic response and are working 24/7 to bring quality COVID-19 testing to patients and communities across the United States.

*Turnaround time for molecular diagnostic and antibody testing includes the time to transport a specimen to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory after collecting it at a patient service center or provider site to reporting results. Turnaround time can fluctuate with demand and vary by region.

**Priority 1 patients include hospital patients, pre-operative patients in acute care settings and symptomatic healthcare workers.

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Posted June 25, 2020, 9:45 am EDT 

Testing capacity under strain as COVID-19 spreads around the country

Since introducing COVID-19 testing in the United States on March 9, Quest Diagnostics has performed and reported results of approximately 5.30 million COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests.

Today, we have the capacity to perform approximately 110,000 of these tests a day (770,000 a week).

Despite the rapid expansion of our testing capacity, demand for testing has been growing faster. Orders for our molecular diagnostic services grew by approximately 50 percent over the past three weeks.

Rapid growth in demand is stemming from: increasing spread of the virus across much of the United States; pre-op patients being tested before undergoing procedures in hospital settings; demand from  additional sectors, such as federally qualified healthcare centers (FQHCs), nursing homes and prisons; orders from drive/walk through community events held in collaboration with government agencies and corporations; and organizations bringing employees back to work; among other factors.

Despite record demand, our average turnaround time continues to be 1 day for priority 1 patients* and 2-3 days for all other populations.** However, given increased demand, we expect average turnaround times near term to extend in excess of 3 days.

Continued efforts to expand test capacity

We are taking several steps to increase capacity to be able to perform 150,000 tests a day and beyond.  

These include placing additional testing technology platforms in our network of laboratories in the United States and forming collaborations with independent lab providers who have underused capacity for COVID-19 testing and share our commitment to fostering broad testing access.

Antibody Testing

We also continue to provide antibody testing to a broad swath of medical, government, business and consumer markets. Since we introduced these services on April 21, Quest has performed and reported results of more than 2.10 million COVID-19 antibody tests. We have capacity to perform approximately 200,000 antibody tests a day or 1.4 million a week. Our average turnaround is 1-2 days.** 

*Priority 1 patients include hospital patients, pre-operative patients in acute care settings and symptomatic healthcare workers.

**Turnaround time for molecular diagnostic and antibody testing includes the time to transport a specimen to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory after collecting it at a patient service center or provider site to reporting results. Turnaround time can fluctuate with demand and vary by region.

Workforce Update

On April 13, 2020, the company disclosed a series of temporary workforce actions it was taking as a result of a material decline in testing volumes in its base business (excluding COVID-19 molecular and antibody testing). These temporary actions included salary reductions, furloughs, reduced hours for employees and suspension of the company match for 401(k) contributions.

On June 3, 2020, the company disclosed that testing volumes in its base business had recovered faster than anticipated.

As a result, the company has implemented the following workforce actions:

  • Recalled the majority of the employees who had been on furlough.
  • Restored the majority of the employees who had been on reduced hours to normal schedules.
  • Ended temporary pay cuts a month early for the vast majority of exempt employees impacted by temporary salary reductions. Temporary cuts for senior management will continue through July 25 as originally scheduled.
  • Suspension of the 401(k) company match to remain in place.

In addition, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company’s operations and the important role the company is playing in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, on June 19, 2020 the Compensation Committee of Quest’s Board of Directors approved an enhancement to the company’s Annual Incentive Plan that makes all employees eligible to receive annual incentive compensation for 2020 based on additional 2020 performance goals related to the company’s COVID-19 pandemic response plan.

We are proud of the extraordinary commitment and efforts of our 47,000 employees who have fueled Quest Diagnostics’ response to the pandemic. We are committed to doing all we can to support the nation with quality COVID-19 testing services at this critical time.

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Posted June 8, 2020, 7:10 pm EDT 

Quest Diagnostics Performs and Reports Results of Approximately 3.75 Million COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests and Approximately 1.65 Million Antibody Tests to Date 

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing 

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 3.75 million COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests. 

We now have capacity to perform approximately 105,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day or 735,000 a week. Our average turnaround time is 1 day for priority patients and 2-3 days for all other populations.*

COVID-19 Antibody Testing 

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 1.65 million COVID-19 antibody tests. 

We now have capacity to perform approximately 200,000 antibody tests a day or 1.4 million a week. Our average turnaround is 1-2 days.* 

Research on Health Disparities

Quest will participate in research spearheaded by Centene and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on racial minorities and underserved communities across the country. Read today’s press release.

*Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory after collecting it at a patient service center or provider site to reporting results. Turnaround time can fluctuate with demand and vary by region.

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Posted June 1, 2020, 5 pm EDT 

Quest Diagnostics Performs and Reports Results of Approximately 3.15 Million COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests and Approximately 1.50 Million Antibody Tests to Date 

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing 

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 3.15 million COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests. We now have capacity to perform approximately 100,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day and expect to have capacity to perform approximately 150,000 of these tests a day by the end of June. Our average turnaround time is 1 day for priority patients and 2-3 days for all other populations.*

On May 28, Quest announced that it has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Quest Diagnostics Self-collection Kit for COVID-19 (self-collection kit). The self-collection kit is for individuals to self-collect a nasal specimen at home or in a healthcare setting when determined to be appropriate by a healthcare provider.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing 

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 1.50 million COVID-19 antibody tests. We now have the capacity to perform approximately 200,000 antibody tests a day or 1.40 million a week.  

The average turnaround time for our COVID-19 antibody testing is 1 day.* 

Return to Work

On May 27, Quest launched its new Return to Work services built around large-scale workforce COVID-19 testing. The services are designed to help organizations access and act on COVID-19 laboratory insights in order to foster safer workplace environments for their employees as the nation begins to restart the U.S. economy.  

The Quest Diagnostics Return to Work services feature access to COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing and related capabilities, from event staffing to digital results reporting. For more information, visit www.QuestforHealth.com.

*Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory after collecting it at a patient service center or provider site to reporting results. Turnaround time can fluctuate with demand and vary by region.

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Posted May 28, 2020, 1:09 pm EDT

FDA Authorizes Quest Diagnostics COVID-19 Nasal Specimen Self-Collection Kit for Emergency Use

https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2020-05-28-FDA-Authorizes-Quest-Diagnostics-COVID-19-Nasal-Specimen-Self-Collection-Kit-for-Emergency-Use

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Posted May 27, 2020, 9:02 am EDT

Quest Diagnostics Launches COVID-19 Workforce Testing Services to Help Guide Organizations in Fostering Safer Workplaces as Employees Return to WorkQuest Diagnostics Launches COVID-19 Workforce Testing Services to Help Guide Organizations in Fostering Safer Workplaces as Employees Return to Work

https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2020-05-27-Quest-Diagnostics-Launches-COVID-19-Workforce-Testing-Services-to-Help-Guide-Organizations-in-Fostering-Safer-Workplaces-as-Employees-Return-to-Work

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Posted May 26, 2020, 6 pm EDT 

Quest Diagnostics Performs and Reports Results of 2.65 Million COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests and 1.25 Million Antibody Tests to Date 

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing 

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 2.65 million COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests. For the past several weeks, we have experienced increasing demand for these services, largely from healthcare providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and nursing homes, among other organizations. 

Our average turnaround time is now 1-2 days for priority patients and 2-3 days for all other populations.*

To accommodate growing demand, our teams are working around the clock to add more capacity to our COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing. We now have capacity to perform approximately 80,000 COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests a day. We expect to have capacity to perform approximately 100,000 of these tests a day in early June and approximately 150,000 tests a day by the end of June. We are also in the early stages of collaborating with other lab providers to cross-refer specimens to labs with capacity to accelerate testing. 

COVID-19 Antibody Testing 

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 1.30 million COVID-19 antibody tests. The average turnaround time for our COVID-19 antibody testing continues to be 1-2 days.* 

We now have the capacity to perform approximately 200,000 antibody tests a day or 1.4 million a week.  

Supplies 

Since we started to provide COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing in March, we have distributed approximately 3.5 million collection kits. While Quest has the supplies to meet its current capacity targets, the supply chain globally continues to be under strain. We are closely working with a variety of suppliers as we ramp up capacity. 

*Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory after collecting it at a patient service center or provider site to reporting results. Turnaround time can fluctuate with demand and vary by region.

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Posted May 18, 2020, 5:40 pm EDT

Quest Diagnostics Performs and Reports Results of 2.15 Million COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests and 975,000 Antibody Tests to Date

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 2.15 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests since we introduced these services on March 9. Our current capacity is approximately 70,000 tests a day.

In recent weeks, we have extended our outreach to healthcare providers such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and nursing homes, among other organizations. As a result, the company has experienced three consecutive weeks of increasing demand for molecular diagnostics, hitting new record levels last week. Our average turnaround time continues to be 1 day for priority populations (such as ill hospital patients and healthcare workers) and 2-3 days for all other populations.*

We continue to expand capacity, and are now performing molecular diagnostic testing on the Hologic Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assay. This is in addition to the Hologic’s Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 test that we added in mid-April, as well as testing from Roche and our own lab developed test. All of our molecular diagnostic tests have received FDA Emergency Use Authorization. With these and other measures, we expect to have capacity to perform 100,000 tests a day in June.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

We introduced antibody testing to providers on April 21 and directly to consumers through our QuestDirect consumer-initiated testing on April 27. To date, we’ve performed and reported 975,000 antibody tests. We are reporting antibody test results in 1-2 days on average.*

We now have the capacity to perform approximately 200,000 antibody tests a day or 1.4 million a week.

Supplies

While Quest has the supplies to meet its current capacity targets, the supply chain globally continues to be under strain. We are closely working with a variety of suppliers as we ramp up capacity.

*Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory after collecting it at a patient service center or provider site to reporting results.

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Posted May 11, 2020, 6:00 pm EDT

Quest Diagnostics Performs and Reports Results of 1.7 Million COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests and 620,000 Antibody Tests to Date

  • Plans to double molecular diagnostic testing capacity to 100,000 tests a day in June amid expectations of growing demand
  • Expands antibody test capacity with addition of Ortho Clinical Diagnostics IgG Antibody Test

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 1.7 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests since we introduced these services on March 9. These tests use molecular technologies to detect the RNA of the virus that causes COVID-19, aiding diagnosis. We have capacity to perform more than 50,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests per day or approximately 350,000 tests per week. We are reporting our diagnostic test results in 1-2 days on average.*

In recent weeks, we have extended our outreach to providers, including federally qualified healthcare clinics (FQHCs) that focus on underserved populations. In anticipation of growing demand, we are actively expanding capacity. We expect to have the capacity to perform approximately 100,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day or 700,000 a week in June.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

We introduced antibody testing to providers on April 21 and directly to consumers through our QuestDirect consumer-initiated testing on April 27. To date, we’ve performed and reported 620,000 antibody tests. We are reporting antibody test results in 1-2 days on average.*

Expanded Antibody Test Capacity with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics IgG Antibody Test

In order to expand antibody testing capacity, Quest now provides IgG antibody testing using the Ortho Clinical Diagnostics VITROS® Immunodiagnostic Products Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG Test (COVID-19 IgG antibody test). The test received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) on April 24 and has reported specificity of 100%, which helps prevent false positives. We also provide IgG antibody testing using tests from Abbott and EUROIMMUNE that have received FDA EUA and meet our high bar for quality.

We now have the capacity to perform approximately 200,000 antibody tests a day or 1.4 million a week.

Supplies

While Quest has the supplies to meet its current capacity targets (50,000 diagnostic/molecular and 200,000 antibody tests a day), the supply chain globally continues to be under strain. We intend to work closely with our suppliers as we ramp up capacity.

*Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory after collecting it at a patient service center or provider site to reporting results.

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Posted May 4, 2020, 4:15 pm EDT

Quest Diagnostics Performs and Reports Results of 1.5 Million Diagnostic Tests and 325,000 Antibody Tests to Date for COVID-19

  • Provides results in 1-2 days on average for both diagnostic and antibody tests
  • Facilitates same- or next-day day visits for antibody tests when scheduled in advance at Quest Diagnostics patient service centers
  • Joins CDC-led SPHERES consortium to coordinate COVID-19 genetic sequencing

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Capacity

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 1.5 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests since we introduced these services on March 9, eight weeks ago today. These tests use molecular technologies to detect the RNA of the virus that causes COVID-19, aiding diagnosis. We have the capacity to perform approximately 50,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests per day or approximately 350,000 tests per week.

Last week, we experienced the strongest level of demand for our COVID-19 molecular diagnostic services to date, although it was less than our available capacity. We are reporting diagnostic test results in 1-2 days on average*, and we have no backlog.

We perform diagnostic testing using three different molecular tests in 12 Quest Diagnostics laboratories across the United States.

To date, we have distributed approximately 2 million swab collection kits to providers across the United States. These kits are used to collect and transport respiratory specimens for diagnostic testing.

Patient Prioritization Program

On April 27, the CDC updated its guidance on prioritizing patients for testing, which now includes asymptomatic people among high priority or priority categories for testing. We are evaluating the updated CDC guidance to determine whether to modify our existing prioritization program, which is based on the prior CDC guidance. 

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Capacity

We introduced antibody testing to providers on April 21 and directly to consumers through our QuestDirect consumer-initiated testing on April 27.

Quest has now performed and reported results of approximately 325,000 COVID-19 antibody tests. e have the capacity to perform approximately 150,000 antibody tests a day or approximately 1 million a week.

We perform antibody testing in more than 20 Quest Diagnostics labs around the country. We are reporting antibody test results in 1-2 days on average*, and we have no backlog.

Antibody Test Quality

Quest Diagnostics is committed to providing testing that is high quality and reliable. Most of our antibody testing is performed on a test platform from Abbott that received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) on April 26. We also use a platform from EUROIMMUN, a PerkinElmer company, that received FDA EUA today. We have also performed verification studies on these platforms as a further check on quality.

Patient Service Centers

Antibody testing involves a blood draw, which we can collect at our 2,200 patient service centers. In most cases we are able to offer same-day or next-day visits when individuals schedule appointments in advance online. Our priority is the health and safety of our employees, patients and the communities we serve. To foster social distancing and safety for all, we strongly encourage patients to schedule appointments in advance. We also require all patients to wear a face covering before entering. Learn more.

Participation in CDC-led SPHERES

Quest Diagnostics is proud to be a participating laboratory in the SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES), a new national genomics consortium led by the CDC to coordinate SARS-CoV-2 sequencing across the United States. Quest brings genomics and bioinformatics expertise, COVID-19 testing experience, and national reach to the endeavor, which aims to generate information about the virus that will strengthen COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

*Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory after collecting it at a patient service center or provider site to reporting results.

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Posted April 28, 2020, 7:05 am EDT

Quest Diagnostics Launches Consumer-Initiated COVID-19 Antibody Test Through QuestDirect™

https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2020-04-28-Quest-Diagnostics-Launches-Consumer-Initiated-COVID-19-Antibody-Test-Through-QuestDirect-TM

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Posted April 27, 2020, 6:50 pm EDT

Quest Diagnostics Has Performed and Reported Results of More Than One Million (1.12M) Diagnostic COVID-19 Tests and 75,000 Antibody COVID-19 Tests

  • Diagnostic Testing: Capacity at 50,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests per day and turnaround times of 1-2 days on average
  • Antibody Testing: Capacity at more than 150,000 antibody COVID-19 tests per day and turnaround time of 1-2 days on average

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Capacity

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 1.12 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests. We have the capacity to perform up to 50,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests per day or approximately 350,000 tests per week. Our test capacity outpaces demand and we have no backlog. We perform diagnostic testing using three different molecular tests in 12 Quest Diagnostics laboratories across the United States.

We continue our outreach to healthcare providers, including those with unique needs, such as nursing homes and federally qualified healthcare centers (FQHCs). Our patient prioritization program includes patients that may be considered Priority 1, 2 and 3 under CDC criteria.

Turnaround Times

Patients considered Priority 1, 2 and 3 under CDC criteria receive test results in 1 day on average (less than 1 day for priority 1 patients; a little more than 1 day for priority 2 and 3 patients). All other patients receive test results in less than 2 days on average. (“All other patients” are typically individuals not marked by the provider as belonging to one of the priority groups per the CDC criteria.) Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen after collecting it at a provider site to reporting results.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

On April 21, Quest announced that it has begun to perform antibody testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) using blood samples. These services primarily employ a test platform from Abbott that received FDA emergency use authorization on April 26.

Capacity

Quest has performed and reported results of approximately 75,000 COVID-19 antibody tests. We are now able to perform more than 150,000 antibody tests a day, or about 1 million a week, ahead of our plan (see press release from April 21) to scale to this level of capacity by early May.

Our test capacity outpaces demand and we have not experienced a test backlog to date. We perform antibody testing in more than 20 Quest Diagnostics labs around the country.

Turnaround Times

We are reporting antibody test results within 1-2 days from specimen collection, depending on demand. Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen after collecting it at a Quest Diagnostics patient service center or provider site to reporting results.

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Posted April 21, 2020, 6:00 pm EDT

Quest Diagnostics Begins to Perform COVID-19 Antibody Testing

For Full Press Release, Click Here.

Posted April 20, 2020, 4:00 pm EDT

Quest Diagnostics Has Performed and Reported Results of More Than 940,000 Diagnostic COVID-19 Tests

  • Raises capacity to up to 50,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests per day
  • Reports that capacity significantly outpaces demand, with no backlog for a week
  • Provides results in 1 day for priority patients, less than 2 days for all other patients
  • Updates on supply status

We are now have the capacity to perform up to 50,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests per day or approximately 350,000 tests per week. Our test capacity outpaces demand and we have not experienced a test backlog for about a week.

We are expanding our outreach to healthcare providers, including those with unique needs, such as nursing homes and federally qualified healthcare centers (FQHCs). Last week, we also extended our patient prioritization program to include patients that may be considered Priority 1, 2 and 3 under CDC criteria.

Test Results Delivered in 1-2 Days on Average

Patients considered Priority 1, 2 and 3 under CDC criteria receive test results in 1 day on average (less than 1 day for priority 1 patients; a little more than 1 day for priority 2 and 3 patients) under the Quest patient prioritization program. All other patients receive test results in less than 2 days on average. (“All other patients” are typically individuals not marked by the provider as belonging to one of the priority groups per the CDC criteria.) Turnaround time includes the time to transport a specimen after collecting it at a provider site to reporting results.

Supplies at level to meet capacity

We have sufficient supplies on hand to conduct testing at our target capacity of 50,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests a day. Since we began to provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing in early March, we have shipped 1.1 million specimen collection kits to healthcare providers, with more than 200,000 distributed last week alone. (We do not manufacture specimen collection kits, which typically involve a swab and other materials that a healthcare provider uses to collect a respiratory specimen.)

However, the worldwide supply chain for collection kits, reagents, and personal protective equipment (PPE) remains strained. As a result, we continue to provide specimen collection kits to healthcare providers on a limited basis.

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Posted April 13, 2020, 4:20 pm EDT

Quest Diagnostics Has Performed and Reported Results of Approximately 800,000 COVID-19Tests

  • Raises capacity to 45,000 tests a day
  • Provides results in less than 1 day for priority patients, less than 2 days on average for other populations
  • Eliminates backlog
  • Extends Patient Prioritization Program to new populations defined by CDC

Quest Diagnostics has performed and reported results of approximately 800,000 COVID-19 tests to providers and patients across the United States. We now have capacity to perform approximately 45,000 COVID-19 tests per day. The expanded capacity is due in part to the addition of testing based on a molecular test from Hologic in two of our COVID-19 testing laboratories, beginning today.

Turnaround Time and Backlog  

Our anticipated turnaround time for specimens of patients provided to Quest Diagnostics through our patient prioritization program is less than one day on average. For all other patients, the average turnaround time is less than 2 days on average. Turnaround time includes transportation from time of specimen pickup at a provider’s site to reporting results. We have eliminated our backlog.

Patient Prioritization Program

Quest has expanded its patient prioritization program to include Priority 2 and 3 patients as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The company began the program with a focus on Priority 1 patients the last week of March. Refer to our media statement dated March 24 for more information on the program.

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Posted April 6, 2020 Noon EDT

Quest Diagnostics Has Performed and Reported Results of Nearly 550,000 COVID-19 Tests, Backlog Drops by Half from Peak to Equivalent of 2-3 Days of Testing

Quest Diagnostics has performed and reported results of nearly 550,000 COVID-19 tests to providers and patients across the United States. We continue to provide testing from 12 laboratories. Through these laboratories, we are now able to perform more than 35,000 COVID-19 tests a day.

Backlog

In addition, we have reduced our backlog significantly. Our backlog is now approximately 80,000 COVID-19 tests, a 50 percent decline compared to our backlog of approximately 160,000 tests as of March 25. The backlog of 80,000 tests corresponds to approximately 2-3 days of testing.

Turnaround times

Our turnaround time for specimens of patients forwarded to Quest Diagnostics through our patient prioritization program is now one day on average. Through this program, we prioritize specimens marked by health systems as Priority 1 patients under CDC guidance (symptomatic ill hospital patients and healthcare workers). For all other patients, the average turnaround time is 2-3 days from time of specimen pickup. However, patients in certain hot spot areas, including the NY-NJ metropolitan area, Chicago and Miami, may experience turnaround times of 3 or more days due to significant demand for services.

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Posted April 1, 2020 8:40 PM EDT

Quest Diagnostics Performed and Reported Results of More Than 400,000 COVID-19 Tests Since Introducing COVID-19 Testing on March 9, Reports Progress on Reduced Backlogs

From March 9 to April 1, Quest Diagnostics has performed and reported results of more than 400,000 COVID-19 tests to providers and patients across the United States.

We introduced COVID-19 testing on March 9 from a single laboratory, in San Juan Capistrano, California. In approximately the first two weeks of providing testing, we experienced a sharp influx of test orders that continued to outpace our growing capacity through March. We also incurred a backlog across our network that has been particularly acute at our San Juan Capistrano, Calif. laboratory, given it was the first and, for several days, only lab in our network to provide COVID-19 testing. Much of this testing was based on our lab-developed test, which is less suited to high throughput environments.

In mid-to-late March, we implemented a higher throughput in vitro diagnostic test for COVID-19 from Roche at a total of 12 Quest Diagnostics laboratories across the United States. We also implemented our lab-developed test at two additional laboratories. We completed this process by the end of March.

We exited March with testing capacity in excess of 30,000 COVID-19 tests a day across the 12 performing laboratories.   

We grew our testing capacity to a level that allowed us to meet and at times exceed demand. As a result, we reduced the backlog 28% from 160,000 tests on March 25 to 115,000 tests currently.

Turnaround Times

Our average turnaround time to report results from time of specimen pickup continues to be 4-5 days on average, same as during the last week of March (See Media statement dated March 24). In addition, our patient prioritization program is speeding turnaround time even further for the patients most in need. Through this program, we ask health systems to prioritize patients for testing, in alignment with the CDC’s test prioritization protocol with emphasis on “Priority 1” Patients. Turnaround time for specimens of patients forwarded to Quest Diagnostics through this program is 2-3 days on average from time of specimen pickup and, for some patients, may be less than a day. We appreciate the collaboration of the many health systems we service across the United States to direct testing to patients who are most in need at this critical time.

We appreciate the frustration of waiting for a test result, and our laboratories are performing COVID-19 tests 24/7 to provide testing as quickly as possible. While we are more confident now in our ability to meet demand and report results for COVID-19 testing than in mid-March, when we were still ramping up capacity, this crisis is fluid and unpredictable, and so is the demand for COVID-19 testing. Future changes in demand for COVID-19 testing could alter our ability to provide testing and report results.

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Posted March 24, 2020 5:30 PM EDT

Quest Diagnostics further expands COVID-19 testing capacity: Expected to rise to 30,000 a day by end of the week

Quest Diagnostics has expanded its COVID-19 testing capacity to 25,000 tests per day, significantly higher than initially forecast. In addition, Quest now expects to further expand capacity to 30,000 COVID-19 tests per day by the end of this week.

As of March 9, when Quest Diagnostics introduced COVID-19 testing, and the end of the day March 23, the company has performed and reported results for 106,000 COVID-19 tests. About 24,000 of these were performed and reported March 23.  

Performing Laboratories

Quest is now performing COVID-19 testing at 12 laboratories in its national network. Three of these laboratories perform both the company’s lab-developed Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test (which was granted FDA emergency use authorization on March 17) and the highly automated Roche cobas® SARS-CoV-2 Test. These labs are in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Chantilly, VA and Marlborough, Mass.

The other Quest Diagnostics laboratories are performing the highly-automated Roche cobas® SARS-CoV-2 Test are in Dallas, TX; Lenexa, KS; Lewisville, TX; Miami, FL; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA;  Teterboro, NJ; West Hills, CA; and  Wood Dale, IL.

The expansion to the highly-automated in vitro diagnostic (IVD) platform follows Roche’s announcement on March 13 that the FDA has issued an emergency use authorization for the test. IVD tests are generally more automated and better suited to high-throughput testing than lab-developed tests.

Capacity

Quest is expanding capacity faster than initially forecast. On March 14, we communicated in our media statement that we anticipate we will have the capacity to perform 10,000 tests a day by the end of this week and 20,000 a day by the end of the month. As of March 23, we have expanded our COVID-19 testing capacity to 25,000 tests per day and expect to further expand capacity to 30,000 tests per day by the end of the week.

Turnaround Time and Prioritization Program

Our current turnaround time is on average 4-5 days, from time of specimen pickup. In some cases, the time to report results may be shorter or longer, depending on demand. However, the experience of providers and patients can vary across the United States. In some cases, results may not be provided for about a week from specimen pickup; in others, results may be returned within a day or two.

Although we are rapidly expanding testing capacity, demand for the testing is growing faster, and we cannot accommodate everyone who wants testing and meet tight turnaround time expectations.

To help address this issue, we are working with healthcare systems to prioritize testing for in-hospital patients and symptomatic hospital healthcare workers. Hospitals and healthcare systems can submit specimens from these patients to us with a “high priority” designation. As a result, these specimens will be expedited within our standard first in, first out testing process. We are already notifying health systems of ways to submit specimens under these conditions.

Global Supply

Supply for COVID testing and care is a global industry- and government-wide issue. Quest Diagnostics is in constant contact with our suppliers as well as industry and government leaders to address this global supply issue in order to provide as much access to COVID-19 testing as possible.

Patient Service Centers: Our Peace of Mind Program for At-Risk Patients

COVID-19 testing is based on respiratory specimens collected by healthcare providers in their offices or other healthcare settings. We appreciate the efforts of the media to educate the public that we are not accepting individuals suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 at our patient service centers or other phlebotomy sites. Healthcare providers should visit our dedicated COVID-19 Provider site for more information.

On March 21, 2020, we launched our “Peace of Mind” program to give individuals at higher risk of adverse outcomes due to COVID-19 special access to our 2,250 patient service centers across the United States.

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Posted March 19, 2020, 10:30 AM EDT

FDA issues emergency use authorization for company’s Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test

On March 17, 2020, Quest Diagnostics received emergency use authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 RNA, Qualitative Real-Time RT-PCR (“Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR”) test for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory specimens from individuals suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider.  (Healthcare providers should visit our dedicated COVID-19 Provider site for more information about this test.)

Under FDA guidance issued on February 29, 2020, Quest Diagnostics has been performing this test at our high complexity laboratory in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. since March 9, 2020.  The company is now performing this test at its laboratory in Chantilly, VA, and expects to be performing it at its laboratory in Marlborough (aka Marlboro), Mass, by the end of the week.

COVID-19 testing is based on specimens collected by healthcare providers at their offices or other settings. We appreciate the efforts of the media to educate the public that we are not accepting individuals suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 at our patient service centers or other phlebotomy sites.

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Posted March 14, 2020 1:30 PM EDT

On March 9, 2020, Quest Diagnostics introduced a new lab-developed test for COVID-19*.  Health care providers anywhere in the U.S. are now able to order this new test from Quest. This molecular test detects nucleic acid of the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. 

Quest Diagnostics currently performs its COVID-19 lab-developed test at our Quest Diagnostics Infectious Disease laboratory in San Juan Capistrano (SJC), California.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. Here’s what we are doing:   

  • Quest is working with other labs through our trade association, the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA), to rapidly expand capacity across the country. As ACLA estimates in a media statement issued March 13, 2020, “once additional FDA-approved high-throughput testing is available on large diagnostic platforms next week, the industry expects its capacity to be increased to more than 20,000 tests per day. Assuming there are no delays or shortages of necessary materials and supplies, commercial capacity is expected to exceed 280,000 tests per week by April 1.”
  • We are rapidly expanding testing capacity, bringing up our new lab-developed test in our high-complexity laboratories in Chantilly, VA and Marlborough, MA the week of March 16, 2020. 
  • With an FDA-approved high-throughput test now available, we also expect to significantly expand testing at several regional Quest Diagnostics laboratories by the end of March. These additional laboratories are located in major cities, including Dallas; Teterboro, NJ; Miami; Los Angeles; Chicago; Kansas City; Pittsburgh; and Phoenix.  Plus, the roll out of these tests in major cities means patients will have closer access to testing
  • With these two labs and our lab in California performing our COVID-19 lab-developed test and with testing with an IVD test kit, we expect to have capacity to perform approximately 10,000 tests a day by the end of next week and approximately 20,000 tests a day by the end of the month.  

About the Quest Diagnostics Lab-Developed Test

The Quest Diagnostics lab-developed test detects nucleic acid in respiratory specimens of patients meeting the clinical criteria of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for COVID-19 testing.  The test is performed on respiratory specimens collected by healthcare providers and forwarded to Quest Diagnostics.  We report results of our COVID-19 testing to public health labs, consistent with guidelines.

Providers should not refer any patient suspected of (persons under investigation) or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 to a Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center or other phlebotomy site. We appreciate the efforts of the media to educate the public that we are not accepting individuals suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 at these locations.

 Healthcare providers should visit our dedicated site for more information.

*The test has not been FDA cleared or approved or authorized. The test has been validated according to CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), but FDA’s independent review of this validation is pending.

For further information: Members of the media may contact us at: mediacontact@QuestDiagnostics.com