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Inside The North Texas Molecular Lab Working To Speed Up COVID-19 Test Results

THE COLONY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - There's a lab in North Texas where dedicated employees are working 70 hour weeks to speed up the results of COVID-19 testing.

Dallas County and others depend on the lab as a barometer to determine how bad the virus spreading.

GeneIQ has been conducting COVID-19 lab tests since the beginning of the pandemic, including 100,000 since Christmas alone.

"It's been like drinking from a fire hydrant to be honest with you that's not stopping," says Tariq Adwan, GeneIQ Chief Scientific Officer.

GeneIQ lab
GeneIQ lab (CBS 11)

Twenty-seven test sites across North Texas send their samples to the lab in the The Colony.

Those samples have the RNA extracted by lab assistants like Antwon Jackson, who says he doesn't mind the long hours he's been working especially since the omicron surge.

"I love it, you know we get to help the community," says Jackson.

Antwon is one of 150 employees working inside the 24-hour-a-day molecular diagnostics lab.

Computer graphs reveal which samples are positive or negative and this lab says it's never seen more confirmed cases than right now.

"34% to 35% positivity rate, that's kind of what you see here, which is probably the highest we've seen here throughout this pandemic," says Adwan.

GeneIQ lab
GeneIQ lab (CBS 11)

The goal is to get results within 24 hours but the surge has pushed it back to 48 at times.

Dallas County says it appreciates the effort get results back as quick as possible.

"It's really important because people want to know whether they are sick or many people have plans to get together with family members or just to go back to work," says Christian Grisales, Dallas County Health and Human Services spokesperson.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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