Across Northern California, we’ve tested tens of thousands of patients for COVID-19 so far. At the beginning of the pandemic, we faced national shortages of test kits. Testing needs quickly overwhelmed public health department labs. We had to wait 10 to 14 days for test results — far too long to be useful in determining safe treatment for very sick patients.
In response, our lab teams increased capacity to process more COVID-19 tests of hospitalized and high-risk patients. We rolled out drive-through testing sites to protect our patients and care teams. And soon we’ll open a 7,700 square foot lab in Berkeley, which will have the capability to process 10,000 COVID-19 tests from around the region per day.
We’re so thankful to the City of Berkeley, our lab teams, and construction partners who’ve been working day and night to build this lab in just 60 days. This kind of dedication is what helps us care for patients without delay. With this level of testing, we can start to shift from testing only hospitalized and high-risk patients to far more of our members. Large-scale testing is one of the 6 indicators Governor Newsom said is foundational to easing the stay-at-home order in California.
We know that you may still have many questions about testing. Our doctors have provided answers questions about the type of diagnostic test we use, what our doctors recommend about antibody tests, how drive-through testing appointments work, and more about how we’re expanding testing capacity.
We’re proud to work with innovative and committed partners — from clinical to construction – to support you and the health of our communities.
Your Care Teams at Kaiser Permanente