UC Santa Cruz diagnostic lab to begin coronavirus testing May 1

UCSC | April 27, 2020 | Tim Stephens

In response to the limited availability of testing to determine if someone is infected with the COVID-19 virus, a team of researchers at UC Santa Cruz has established a diagnostic testing lab on campus. Starting May 1, the UCSC Molecular Diagnostic Lab will begin doing coronavirus tests for the UCSC Student Health Center and other medical providers in the local community.

The campus will not be operating a testing site for the general public. The campus lab will work with local medical providers to test patient samples, initially partnering with the Student Health Center and Santa Cruz Community Health. The lab received approval last week from the California Department of Public Health as a COVID-19 temporary testing site.

Jeremy Sanford, professor of molecular, cell, and developmental (MCD) biology, said the lab will be able to return results within 24 to 48 hours; this rapid turnaround is essential to patients and the community in order to combat the spread of COVID-19. The lab will eventually have the capacity to test hundreds of samples per day, and the team plans to gradually increase the number of tests performed in order to meet the demand while ensuring a smooth operation.

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