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Coronavirus In Allegheny County: Monroeville Lab Develops 48-Hour Coronavirus Testing, Focuses On Seniors

MONROEVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) - A Monroeville lab has developed its own coronavirus test, and they hope to do up to a thousand tests a day.

But because of limited equipment, they are focusing on a vulnerable population.

MHS labs in Monroeville developed those tests, but because things like swabs are in such limited supply, they are testing exclusively at area nursing homes, where the elderly are at risk.

"We followed the FDA's emergency-use authorization to quickly get a test up and running. Now we're following the CDC's methodology, but its not the normal process," said Sean Waters.

So MHS gathers the tests from several area senior facilities. They bring them back to their lab, where they say they can have results in 48 hours.

"Our first priority are patients that are in skilled nursing facilities, unskilled nursing facilities, personal care homes. So usually an older population in a community care setting," said Waters.

The patients have to be referred by a doctor. The lab techs carefully limit their exposure.

"We're asking facilities to swab the patients and provide us with the sample," said Waters.

Like other healthcare providers, they have a critical shortage of masks and swabs.

MHS is paying for the costs of these tests. although they might receive some reimbursements in the future.

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