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New equipment could shrink turn around time for COVID-19 tests in Eastern Idaho

Holt Arena in Pocatello, ID
Holt Arena in Pocatello, ID

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Waiting a long time for COVID-19 test results may be a thing of the past.

Idaho State University and the Idaho Division of Public Health purchased new medical equipment that will allow medical personnel to conduct more than 90 tests every 60 to 90 minutes.

This machinery will help test processing for COVID-19 stay in-state and allow for around 500 tests per day.

"Having the new machine with us being a state lab on this side of the state will help us decrease turnaround time for our results," said ISU Assistant Professor Dr. Melody Weaver. "When you have shorter turnaround times, it makes it easier to do contact tracing."

In-state tests are processed one at a time in a lab right now, and can take around 90 minutes each to complete. With the new equipment, scientists expect turnaround time for test results to decrease. The turnaround time may even decrease to 24 hours or less.

"This is going to allow us to keep these tests, be able to run them in-state, and more efficiently get back to the people that we need to get back to about what is going on with the infection rates," Weaver said.

The equipment will be held at Express Lab in Idaho Falls who will pick up samples from a collection site at ISU’s Holt Arena and at collection sites in Idaho Falls and Rexburg.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8.


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