Self-collected COVID test? Quest has now processed more than 1 million

Quest Diagnostics has now processed more than 1 million COVID-19 molecular diagnostic self-tests, the Secaucus-based company announced.

The company said the increased use of the tests, which use self-collected, unobserved nasal specimens, has enabled broad access to Quest’s COVID-19 testing, such as through its QuestDirect consumer-initiated test platform as well as employer, retail store and community testing events.

Quest said the majority of those tests were analyzed at the company’s advanced clinical laboratory.

Quest, which held its 2021 Investor Day meeting March 11, had a number of recent announcements, including:

  • Solid turnaround time for testing: The average turnaround time for COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing continues to be approximately 1-2 days across all populations, with the vast majority completed in one day, including the priority population of hospitalized patients, individuals in long-term care (such as nursing homes) and presurgical patients, the company said.
  • Increase in tests: Quest officials said the company is now able to perform as many as 260,000 COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests a day, up from 250,000 at the beginning of the month. Quest officials said the company is well-positioned to accommodate increased demand, including for nonclinical settings, such as schools, travel and entertainment and workplace screening.
  • Travel warnings: Spring break and religious celebrations are two reasons that travel might increase in the coming weeks. Quest officials advised caution.

“While cases of COVID-19 have declined dramatically from a peak in January, recent daily case rates and test positivity rates indicate significant risk of COVID-19 nationally,” the company said. “We encourage continued vigilance — including masking, social distancing and hand washing, along with testing and vaccination — to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”