08.11.2020

COVID-19 testing is about to get faster — and a Sacramento County firm is leading the push

COVID-19 testing is about to get faster — and a Sacramento County firm is leading the push Photo by Daniel Kim / Sacramento Bee

After months of COVID-19 testing hurdles, Sacramento County is partnering with a local biotech company to speed up its test result turnaround and open up more community testing centers.

As part of the $13.5 million contract that’s set to be approved Tuesday, Folsom-based StemExpress could process about 19,000 COVID-19 tests each week, said Sacramento County health chief Dr. Peter Beilenson. StemExpress would process all the samples taken at the county-run testing sites with the goal of returning results to people within three days, he said, if not sooner.

The agreement comes as public health officials have struggled for months to not only make testing more easily accessible for Sacramento County’s most vulnerable communities, but also to ensure test results come back fast enough to be useful for those infected.