Virginia Tech joins forces as state exclusive COVID-19 testing lab

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 1:21 AM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -Virginia Tech is now one of the commonwealth’s exclusive COVID-19 testing facilities. It’s part of a new coordinated effort to better serve the entire state.

From the onset of the pandemic, Virginia Tech has been developing and perfecting its own COVID-19 test.

“We didn’t just buy some off the shelf kit that we’re utilizing,” said Michael Friedlander, Executive Director Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. “We developed the test right here and it’s our own, innovative unique test.”

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute had to quickly design its own molecular diagnostics testing that could also be self-sustaining.

“It gives us a good feeling to be able to get things up to speed pretty quickly and serve the citizens of the state coming really from ground zero in our case,” Friedlander said.

Virginia Tech, Sentara Healthcare and the University of Virginia will now be processing tests from any health district whenever there’s a need as part of the state’s OneLab Network Tier 2 Laboratory contracts. Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services the primary, or Tier 1, laboratory in partnership with the Fairfax County Health Department Lab.

“There really is a coordinated organizational structure to deliver testing and analysis of samples back in a very reasonable time throughout the entire network of the state,” Friedlander said.

Virginia Tech has agreed to process up to 600 tests each day and will be reimbursed $100 per test for the next year.

“I hope that this infrastructure is something that is maintained to a degree going forward so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel the next time should something similar to COVID-19 come up,” Friedlander said.

The move strengthens its partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.

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