Updated 5:00 p.m., Thursday, March 12, 2020
Cleveland Clinic can now test for the coronavirus without sending specimens to an outside lab.
Clinic officials called this a game changer because they can now get tests results in hours, instead of waiting days. The clinic’s pathology lab director Brian Rubin said they are able to run about 500 specimens a day and hope to ramp up to 1000 per day by next week.
“The turnaround time has been slated to be around eight hours," he said. "That’s really the time it takes to run the test. What we did is just eliminate the pre-analytical step of having to transport it somewhere else. We didn’t invent a new technology here.”
The test will be free for uninsured patients and the copay will be covered for those with insurance.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health have been the lead government agencies for coronavirus testing, and results have taken days or even as long as a week.
University Hospitals spokeperson George Stamatis said they are on track to test for coronavirus on-site by early next week.
Other hospital systems have not yet responded to requests for comment about their coronavirus testing capabilities.