COVID-19: Mayo Clinic Testing Capacity Enough to Meet State Needs
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic is indicating it currently has the capacity to perform the number of coronavirus tests that Governor Walz has indicated is needed to restart Minnesota's economy.
Information provided by Mayo Clinic spokesperson Ginger Plumbo states Mayo currently has the capacity to perform 10,000 serology tests and 7,000 molecular tests per day. She says Mayo's goal is to ramp up the capacity for the serology test to 20,000 per day if the demand is there.
The serology test is designed to detect the antibodies that signal a person has had an immune response to the new coronavirus. It is not useful in detecting new cases of COVID-19 and is administered around two weeks after a person has symptoms in hopes of identifying individuals who may have some immunity to the infection and the possibility their blood plasma might be useful for potential treatments.
The molecular test is used to identify patients who are currently ill with COVID-19 and the results of the tests have been reported daily by the Minnesota Department of Health and Olmsted County Public Health. It is not useful for determining if someone has been exposed to the new coronavirus and can only detect active cases of the infection.
Governor Walz has repeatedly stated he regularly communicates with the Mayo Clinic’s leadership concerning all aspects of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During his Tuesday afternoon briefing, the governor indicated challenges in personal protective equipment and testing supplies, along with staffing at some health care facilities remain roadblocks to expanded testing.