JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mayo Clinic in Florida is significantly ramping up efforts to process and test COVID-19 specimens for existing patients and the Florida region. In an effort to help the local community during the current pandemic, Mayo Clinic Laboratories will analyze large volumes of specimens that are sent in from regional hospitals, as well as samples collected on-site from existing Mayo Clinic patients.
The expanded capacity is made possible by high-throughput diagnostic processors from Roche Diagnostics, running the Roche cobas® SARS-CoV-2 Test. Using this system, the Mayo Clinic lab will be able to process more than 1,000 tests per day and will expand capacity over time. In the coming weeks, the volume of testing performed will continue to increase with samples sent to Mayo from other hospitals and health care institutions around the state of Florida and the Southeast region.
Results will typically be reported within 24 hours of testing.
“In the days and weeks to come, we will be working closely with other health care institutions in the region to assist in processing some of their test samples and significantly increase the overall volume of COVID-19 testing done,” says Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida. “With faster and increased capacity of testing performed in our laboratories, we hope to provide a valuable service to the community and those affected by this virus.”
Dr. Thielen adds: “Faster turnaround of test results will help us better define who is and who is not infected. This means a negative test result obtained in a timely fashion will allow us to make treatment decisions for these patients faster, free up much-needed hospital beds, and reduce the amount of personal protective equipment worn by health care workers treating these patients.”
“We will gradually increase our volume of testing over time,” says Aziza Nassar, M.D., chair, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic in Florida. “Our testing methods have an extremely fast turnaround time and our capacity will begin with a volume of about 8,000 tests processed every week.”
Mayo Clinic in Florida is now offering all existing Mayo Clinic patients drive-through specimen collection for COVID-19 testing. The hours of operation are 8 a.m.-2 p.m. daily on campus. Mayo Clinic staff will collect samples, using appropriate precautions, and utilize Mayo Clinic Laboratories for analyses.
To qualify for testing, established Mayo patients must be screened by a Mayo Clinic provider, who will determine if the patient meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention