COVID-19 shows considerable symptomatic variation from patient to patient, and common symptoms mimic those of other circulating illnesses. This makes diagnosing and understanding how the disease spreads based on just clinical symptoms extremely inaccurate and requires confirmation by highly specific, sensitive, and rapid diagnostic tests.
One of the most accurate molecular tests available is the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. The main advantages of this test are its reliability and sensitivity with only a small amount of viral RNA needed for detection. It can quickly diagnose individuals who are displaying symptoms of infection, as well as those that are asymptomatic.
We have recently developed and validated a scalable RT-PCR test. Upon arrival at our lab, all genetic material is extracted and isolated from the samples, allowing the assay to amplify the extraction so that evidence of COVID-19 can be determined.
We have several assay controls in place that also evaluate the accuracy of the results. Once the results are obtained, the lab then follows a strict reporting process, and any positive samples are communicated with high priority in less than 24 hours.