UW Health reduces turnaround time for COVID-19 testing from days to hours

MADISON, Wis. — UW Health announced Wednesday that it has reduced the turnaround time for COVID-19 test results from three days to a few hours.

The new rapid testing allows medical workers to conserve personal protective equipment because patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 require a higher usage of PPE compared to patients whose results come back negative, according to a news release. When medical staff know which patients do not have COVID-19, they are able to use less PPE when treating them.

In-house testing starting at the University Hospital on March 19.

The UW Health Lab has worked to secure equipment and reagents, validate test results, and work with the FDA and CDC to make sure testing is done correctly, the release said.