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Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ COVID-19 testing featured on KARE 11 news
September 9, 2021
Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been key to Minnesota’s COVID-19 testing strategy since the start of the pandemic. At their height in 2020, Mayo’s COVID-19 labs were running 24/7, processing up to 90,000 COVID-19 specimens a day. Although that number has dropped considerably since then, the recent surge in cases due to the delta variant has seen COVID-19 testing at Mayo Clinic Labs tick up again to the current level of about 42,000 specimens a day.
KARE 11 news recently took a tour of the Superior Drive Support Center with William Morice II, M.D., Ph.D., president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, to get a closer look at the labs’ COVID-19 operations. They discussed the systems Mayo Clinic Laboratories put in place to manage COVID-19 testing, and Dr. Morice explained what Mayo Clinic Laboratories is doing now to handle the latest surge.
“We do have the pieces in place here," Dr. Morice says. "The more we do the testing, the more we can identify where there is concern, the more we can make sure the resources are available for people who get sick. We can also understand where we need to be more cautious."
He also noted that, despite being well-equipped to deal with increased demand for testing, the delta variant continues to be a serious concern at Mayo Clinic Laboratories.
“We certainly know how to test COVID better. We certainly know how to treat COVID better. Those are all really great things,” Dr. Morice says. “The death rate really is also a lot lower. But why it's still a threat is that it has the capacity to overwhelm health care systems, which is something that we've been concerned about since the start."
Mayo Clinic Laboratories has processed 4.9 million COVID-19 PCR tests since the pandemic began.