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TRIBLIVE.COM: MHS LABS LOOKS TO HELP FILL GAP IN COVID-19 TESTING

TRIBLIVE.COM

A Monroeville lab that handles molecular and genetic testing has ramped up to offer testing for covid-19, beginning with senior citizens and staff working at care facilities it services.

MHS Labs began testing patient samples on Thursday and had completed a few dozen tests by midday Friday, said Sean Waters, chief technology officer.

Those samples came from among about 50 personal care homes and skilled nursing facilities the company serves in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, said Waters, of Ben Avon. All tests must be requested with a doctor’s order. Some resulted in positive results for covid-19, Waters said.

“We had excess capacity in our molecular department that we were able to devote to the covid-19 testing,” he said. “We have the capacity to test between 100 and 200 samples per day, and we’re looking to ramp that up to 1,000 a day within the next few weeks.

“We feel that it’s important to test as many people as possible. We understand there are people with doctor’s orders right now that can’t find a lab to test them. We want to help alleviate that problem. Especially in our personal care homes and skilled nursing facilities, it’s really important to identify people who are positive so they can be quarantined and help to prevent the spread (of the virus).”