Sonora Quest expanding coronavirus testing to long-term care facilities
PHOENIX — Sonora Quest Laboratories is looking to conduct up to 25,000 coronavirus tests statewide as part of its expanded services to some of the most vulnerable during the pandemic.
Sonora Quest announced in a press release Tuesday its plans to expand COVID-19 diagnostic swab and antibody serology testing at 147 long-term care facilities in Arizona.
“Protecting the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents is a top priority of the Arizona Department of Health Services, and we know that residents of long-term care facilities are at a higher risk for serious complications and death from COVID-19,” Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said the release.
“It is critical that we can test the residents of these facilities and the staff that care for them. With the help of Sonora Quest, Arizona has expanded the capacity to test more people and I appreciate their partnership.”
Outcomes among patients with COVID-19 in the United States indicate the fatality rate is as high as 27% for those 85 years or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The initial launch of the expanded testing will primarily focus on skilled nursing facilities that are certified through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and/or licensed through Arizona, including facilities within the tribal nations, Sonora Quest said.
The testing will be performed at Sonora Quest’s lab in Tempe. The results will be reported to both the facility and the state health department, and are expected to be available within five to seven days from collection.
“The residents in LTC facilities are the most vulnerable with a far higher death rate per capita when exposed to COVID-19, but have a lower rate of testing than any other sector in our state,” President and CEO of Sonora Quest Laboratories Dave Dexter said in the release.
Facilities do not need to request testing, according to Sonora Quest, and residents and staff within the facility will be given the option to opt out.
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