SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — Intermountain Healthcare announced last week that its labs throughout Utah have processed more than one million Covid-19 tests since the virus presented itself in the United States in 2020.
“This milestone highlights the important role laboratories have played in combating COVID-19 and keeping the public safe,” said Karen Brownell, the assistant vice president of laboratory services at Intermountain Healthcare, in a statement. “I’m so proud of what our caregivers have accomplished. From our curbside caregivers who collected samples in triple-digit heat and the freezing cold to our lab caregivers and scientists across the Intermountain Healthcare system who process samples 24 hours a day, we’ve met the challenge head-on to serve the community.”
Early on in the pandemic, supply chains were tested globally for materials used to establish and process tests. According to the statement, that picture of high demand and low supply has changed drastically over the past year. Intermountain’s Central Lab in Murray is processing over 7,000 tests for Covid-19 each day, and 90 percent of patients are receiving their test within 24 hours. Rapid tests are also being administered at all hospital emergency rooms with results delivered within 45 minutes.
Brownell also explained that Intermountain’s success is owed to the “logistics [that] were established early to set up 25 test sites throughout the state, with caregivers to collect samples and a courier system to expedite delivery to the Intermountain Central Lab.”
Today, test accuracy remains the most important part of the team’s work, as does advocating for Utahns and visitors to the state to continue taking all precautions such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and handwashing to contribute towards stopping the spread.