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UM to begin assisting Montana with COVID-19 testing

UM to begin assisting Montana with COVID-19 testing
Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 18:37:37-04

The University of Montana has been conducting COVID-19 research for months and is now able to help the state with testing.

"Case count is going up, so the demand for testing is going up as well," explained Montana National Guard Adjutant General Matt Quinn.

The University of Montana announced this week that it will soon start processing COVID-19 tests on campus and will then send that information to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

"For the state of Montana, this is a big deal. Certainly, we have been working to continue to increase our testing capacity within the state of Montana, and have worked on that since, frankly, March," Quinn said.

UM COVID-19 Tests
The University of Montana has been conducting COVID-19 research for months and is now able to help the state with testing.

Quinn toured the lab on Friday, saying as cases continue to rise, testing capacity is important as ever.

Joey Banks, CLIA lab director at UM, says they hope this will get people faster results.

"I think it's important for the whole state that Missoula steps up as a community to help provide testing for the students and for the community around Missoula," Banks said.

The Genomics Core Lab is where the test samples will be taken after they're collected and the lab will be able to process about 50-to-80 tests per day, at first, and more as time goes on.

UM is hoping to start processing tests in the next couple of weeks and the plan is to start with tests already taken from the Curry Health Center.