The Road to 1 Million COVID-19 Tests
On January 14, 2022, NorDx performed its one millionth PCR COVID-19 test. What makes this milestone so amazing is how a small regional laboratory, in under two years, was able to process such volume while processing regular laboratory specimens and consistently maintaining turnaround times that are unmatched by fully automated national laboratories. Performing over one million COVID-19 tests represents:
- A true teamwork approach
- Unconventional, outside-the-box thinking
Innovation and Excellence
The critical decision that facilitated this accomplishment was to purchase testing reagents versus purchasing manufactured test kits. This proved to be the differentiating factor that allowed NorDx to test when many other local and national laboratories did not have the supplies or capacity as others were dependent on proprietary instruments and reagents.
NorDx Team Member: Joseph Sandoval
Complicating the purchase of bulk test reagents was the need to develop manual assays to test for COVID-19. Every time a new reagent was used, the assays had to be re-validated - which occurred over a dozen times in two years. To maintain uninterrupted testing capacity, NorDx staff remained agile, sourcing testing supplies from many traditional and non-traditional supply channels.
This great accomplishment could not have happened without the full teamwork of every NorDx employee. On any normal day our Scarborough lab receives and process 5000-7000 specimens. But with the addition of COVID-19 specimens, daily volumes were in excess of 8000 specimens. Processing this many specimens daily requires the coordination of numerous resources and the synchronization of information for timely results and notifications.