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Utah-based ARUP launches nationwide COVID-19 antibody testing

40,000 tests in Utah, going nationwide
Posted at 6:22 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 14:33:55-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s ARUP Laboratories is now ready to take its antibody testing for COVID-19 nationwide.

The lab has already tested more than 40,000 Utahns, and will soon be able to do nearly that many per day, nationally.

The lab’s expertise may come as a surprise to many around the country, but the unassuming lab owned by the University of Utah and located in its Research Park is now one of the leading COVID-19 testing facilities in the nation.

Governor Gary Herbert and his staff toured the ARUP lab Monday and he released a statement later that day.

"Utah is fortunate to be home to one of the nation's largest medical laboratories performing high-quality COVID-19 testing for patients in Utah and across the United States. Widespread testing is a crucial part of our state's coronavirus response, and we're grateful for the capacity and expertise that ARUP brings to the table."

Dr. Julio Delgado, Chief Medical Officer for ARUP says scientists have developed a reliable coronavirus antibody test on an accelerated schedule-- basically over the past month and a half -- but they’ve done so without skipping a single step.

That’s because ARUP has been conducting research like this since the mid 1980s.

“We have done this in the past and we have done it very well,” Delgado said. “There have been prior pandemics and epidemics inside the United States also for which we have done something similar for what we have done this time so we were ready from day one.”

Dr. Delgado says the only speed bump for them has been the supply chain, which was slow to provide the materials needed to conduct the test.

Now that things have settled down he says the lab will soon be able to conduct upwards of 35,000 tests per day from all across the country.

The testing is absolutely critical in identifying the spread of the virus, who has it even if they’re not showing symptoms.

Dr. Delgado says the results of all of the testing will be very important not only to identify how many people have been infected with the disease but also to understand how whether those people have developed an immunity.