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Florida State University, Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Partner To Create Lab With Quick Turnaround For COVID-19 Tests

A woman in face mask and gloves points at a screen. A man beside her looks where she is pointing.
Bill Lax
FSU Photography Services
Lorea Arambarri, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biological Science, confers with Patrick Phillips, laboratory performance and improvement and quality assurance manager from Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.

Florida State University and Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare are partnering to operate a lab that can quickly process COVID-19 tests. The lab can process 1,000 tests per day and give results in 24 hours or less.

The lab will process samples from FSU students, faculty, and staff as well as TMH patients. Gary Ostrander is Vice President for Research at Florida State University. He says fast results are important since asymptomatic people who have COVID-19 sometimes take fewer precautions, leading them to spread the virus while waiting for test results:

"They don't feel bad, so there's no reason to stay home and stay isolated."

Ostrander says cutting down on that wait time via the lab could help curb the spread:

"If I test you tomorrow morning and I have a result by tomorrow night. The number of people you've interacted with is a whole lot less than if I don't get a result to you till next Monday."

Ostrander says the lab is meant to be temporary and not permanent.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.