Private Lab Begins Testing COVID-19 Samples

COVINGTON, Ky. — More private labs are stepping up to provide faster results and providing a solution to COVID-19 testing challenges.

Covington-based Gravity Diagnostics is one of the many labs now certified with a license to test for the virus.

Chief Operating Officer Julie Brazil said before the coronavirus became a global crisis seeping into the United States, their lab was making plans to expand. The company already tests for upper respiratory illness but with the recent clearance through the FDA, they are now also able to test for the Coronavirus.

“So we’ve done everything that we can to increase our capacity and our testing,” Brazil said. “We’ve taken extra space in our building, we have hired 16 new employees this month alone. We’re really doing everything we can to get the most tests completed to the patients who need it the most.”

The lab is able to provide results with a turnaround time of 24 to 48 hours.

“Right now I think we have 300 tests that we’re doing today within 24-48 hour turn around time and we’re increasing that to definitely 2,000 tests within the next week and then we plan to get to 5,000 tests per day,” Brazil said.

That adds up to 20,000 tests per week for a company that started in 2016.

“We are really focused on working with hospitals and healthcare providers to make sure that those patients most in need are getting the testing,” Brazil said. “It’s really important for them to free up their ICU beds, the hospitals are really really backed up.”

The lab now has two shifts set up for its employees as demand grows. The lab has partnered with not only area hospitals but as of Wednesday testing for the state of Kentucky. 

“We care about people and it just felt like the right thing to do. We could not do it. There’s no way we were going to turn our backs on this,” Brazil said.

Gravity Diagnostics is certified to test for COVID-19 in all 50 states.