While scientists are working at breakneck speed to develop effective vaccines and treatments, diagnostic testing — along with mask wearing, social distancing and contract tracing — remains one of the first lines of defense against COVID-19.
The scale and speed at which tests to detect COVID-19 have been produced is greater than any other test in the history of modern medicine. Since Roche began shipping tests on March 13, we have increased our capacity three-fold. Collectively, the diagnostic industry provided the U.S over 20 million diagnostic tests in July1. This is an impressive number, especially considering that during the ENTIRE 2019-2020 flu season, U.S clinical laboratories reported just 1.5 million lab tests to the CDC.2 The amount of tests produced represents an unprecedented industry response, but – similar to our approach to annual flu season testing – it should not be the only response.
High-volume molecular diagnostic testing is and will remain the backbone of the country’s COVID-19 testing response, but it cannot be the only option. There are several complementary testing solutions needed to address unique applications and environments.
There is no question that the diagnostics industry will continue to bring innovation to COVID-19 testing. Working together with a shared purpose that is led by science and public health, we will do everything we can to make sure people have access to the tests they need.