FRESNO, California (KSEE) – More COVID-19 tests and faster results could become a reality in Fresno County thanks to a new partnership between the county and Fresno State.
A new temporary public lab will be housed inside the Jordan Agricultural Research Center and could open as soon as the end of this week.
“This is exciting news because one of the big things that’s been lacking here in Fresno County is our ability to test,” said District 5 Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig.
Fresno County health officials say the lab will be able to process results for 40 to 60 specimens each day. They say the faster results will be a game-changer for the county since specimens are currently sent to private labs or surrounding counties, such as Tulare County, which can take several days.
“We’re hoping that we can get that turnaround time reduced as much as possible by having local lab capacity here, and therefore give people the answers that they seek,” said Fresno County Department of Public Health Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra.
But not all specimens will be able to be sent to Fresno State for processing.
“This is a laboratory that’s going to be very focused. We want to focus on those individuals, it could be first responders, it could be doctors or nurses, but those individuals that are on the front line that need tests turned around, very quickly,” said Magsig.
“So really it’s going to be up to our health officer to make that determination on which specimens are going to be sent to the laboratory at Fresno State.”