To combat the national shortage of diagnostic tests for the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) gave authorization to UW Medicine to test patient specimens provided by physicians and health care providers, according to two UW Medicine scientists involved in developing the test and ensuring its accuracy.
The UW Medicine virology laboratory has the capacity to dramatically speed up the time it takes to determine if someone has the virus.
State Department of Health (DOH) officials had earlier acknowledged a problem with the federally approved testing kits initially supplied last month to state public health laboratories across the nation. Those problems stymied testing for — and recognition of — the virus’s spread in Washington.
The UW Medicine lab got the green light to begin testing on Saturday. As of Tuesday, scientists had tested about 200 specimens, said Dr. Alex Greninger, the lab’s assistant director who headed the team