TriCore Reference Laboratories Urges Patience for COVID-19 Test Results

Testing capacity doubled to 1,000 tests per day

March 25, 2020

TriCore Reference Laboratories announced on Monday the addition of the Abbott m2000 platform to increase their COVID-19 testing capabilities. This high-capacity testing instrument doubles TriCore’s previous COVID-19 testing capacity, taking it from 500 to approaching 1,000 tests per day.

TriCore is working through a backlog of tests that were collected prior to their increased testing capacity and is assuring those awaiting test results that it is working to speed up the turn-around time from when a patient is tested to delivering results.

TriCore is currently delivering a 5-day turn-around time for COVID-19 tests and is urging anyone awaiting test results from a clinic or high-capacity collection center to continue to self-quarantine until those results are available.

“The TriCore team worked 24/7 to bring on this new test as soon as it was available to us. We continue to explore multiple avenues to help further increase COVID-19 testing capacity for New Mexico, and will keep the community updated as these efforts come to fruition,” said Dr. Karissa Culbreath, Medical Director and Infectious Disease Division Chief at TriCore.

“In order to optimize our existing COVID-19 testing capacity, we have been coordinating with various health systems to prioritize critical, hospitalized and emergency department patients. The cooperation among the systems has been impressive,” said Dr. Doug Clark, Chief Medical Officer at TriCore. “This week’s increased capacity allows us to more efficiently meet the needs of both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients in New Mexico. The best way for the public to help us is to continue to follow the published CDC recommendations for social distancing, as well as seek guidance from their health care providers for the best decisions about testing based on symptoms and risk level.”

On March 12, TriCore launched the CDC assay for COVID-19 testing. Since that time, TriCore has performed well over 4,000 COVID-19 tests. Additionally, as part of the screening for the COVID-19 virus, TriCore has performed over 6,000 tests for other respiratory pathogens including influenza and RSV. In addition to optimizing the CDC assay and launching the new Abbott m2000 platform, TriCore is exploring other testing platforms that would increase capacity for New Mexico.

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Emergencies challenge the delivery and management of emergency public information, warning and emergency protective action notifications. The Albuquerque Joint Information Center (JIC) functions as a coordinated Albuquerque Metro Area public information system that will gather and analyze data related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in New Mexico and serve as a source of accurate and comprehensive information.