COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A local laboratory is helping hospitals test people for COVID-19.
GeneTrait Laboratories, a subsidiary of PTC Laboratories, is working alongside Boone Hospital Center and University of Missouri Health Care in testing for COVID-19.
"We want to tackle the issue, stop the spread, deal with the cases and move on," said Tim McCarty, the director of marketing for PTC Laboratories.
GeneTrait Labs has a building in Columbia which makes it faster for patients and doctors to get those test results back quickly.
"Patients want answers, doctors want answers, so as much time as we can save during this process from the time a patient suffering of symptoms gets their sample take, to when a doctor has a result and a patient has an answer -- that window of time is crucial," McCarty said. "By coming here we can do that very quickly as opposed to sending out of state, we add a day of shipping another day of processing."
GeneTrait Labs, started testing COVID-19 kits Tuesday and has already tested around 300 COVID-19 samples so far. Both Boone and MU Health opened drive-thru testing operations Wednesday.
"Our turnaround time is around 12-24 hours from when a sample reaches our door to when a report goes out," McCarty said. "We are projecting 300 a day if we look at the days we've done so far and that's expected to go up."
GeneTrait Labs has experience in clinical genomic testing and is certified and accredited by industry groups.
McCarty says capacity is not an issue for the lab and scientists are prepared to work overnight.
"We've only begun doing this two days ago so we're still very fluid," McCarty said. "Right now our capacity is about 700 samples a day, we are not currently running overnight. If we are that number doubles and we are looking at doing that soon."
Having a local solution cuts down turnaround time significantly and the lab is able to process samples within hours.
The local test lab has already begun to see six to 10 shipments from curriers a day.
McCarty says MU Health and Boone Hospital are his company's main partners right now but GeneTrait laboratories is getting a handful of inquiries from other health care providers.
"Capacity is something we're not concerned about. We are able to expand rapidly and we expect to meet all the needs from the community and beyond," McCarty said.