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Clinical microbiology experts at UNC’s Medical Center and School of Medicine have developed a coronavirus disease diagnostic test based on the World Health Organization protocol. It is now in use to conduct COVID-19 testing for UNC Health patients in accordance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidance for individuals who meet criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The test initially will be available only for inpatients at UNC Medical Center, UNC Rex Hospital and UNC Health affiliate hospitals across North Carolina as well as a select number of UNC Health clinic locations. Use of this test will allow for more testing capacity at the state health department and by LabCorp in North Carolina.
“We have developed a high-quality test, we have the infrastructure to roll it out and are ready to help the people of our state,” said Melissa Miller, director of the Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Microbiology Labs at UNC Medical Center.
“The ability to conduct in-house testing is a crucial step in our response to COVID-19,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, UNC Health CEO and dean of the School of Medicine. “Our ability to test patients and receive results in a matter of hours will help us to better understand the spread of the virus in our state and, most importantly, allow us to quickly move to treat positive patients and provide relief to patients who test negative.”