Wisconsin Coronavirus: New public-private partnership more than doubles testing capacity

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. Wide scale testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with the test kits the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsin’s coronavirus testing capacity will increase as part of a new public-private partnership announced by Governor Tony Evers.

Before Monday’s announcement, Gov. Evers says the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene and the Milwaukee Public Health Lab were leading the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network labs to bring additional coronavirus testing online.

The new partnership now includes laboratory support from Exact Sciences, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Promega, and UW Health. Gov. Evers’ office says these organizations, along with the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network, will now share information, resources, and technology to increase Wisconsin’s coronavirus testing capacity.

Related: Wisconsin Coronavirus: Rep. Gallagher, Brown Co. Health announce PPE drive

“The Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene and the Milwaukee Public Health Lab should be commended for the tremendous lift they have done over the past few weeks to rapidly bring these tests online. And I want to especially extend my gratitude to the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene for going above and beyond to expand testing capacity within the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network, and ensure Wisconsin does not have a backlog of COVID-19 tests,” said Gov. Evers.

The Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network labs have been averaging 1,500 to 2,000 coronavirus tests per day. This new partnership is expected to double that capacity at first, and continue to expand as additional platforms and supplies become available.

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“Wisconsin is extremely fortunate to have these industry leaders in our own backyard,” said Gov. Evers. “They are exhibiting the right kind of leadership that all Wisconsinites deserve: stepping up with innovation, cutting down superficial barriers, and doing all they can to help keep Wisconsin communities healthy.”

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