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SLO. Co. Public Health officials work to speed up COVID-19 test results with Panther machine

Posted at 9:02 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 00:02:43-04

It's taking weeks for some people to receive COVID-19 test results, but local health officials are working on speeding things up.

San Luis Obispo County Health officials demonstrated a "Panther", a machine used to process several coronavirus tests at once.

The laboratory director said the Panther takes a lot of the labor out of the testing process.

If they had sufficient supplies, the machine could run 300 tests a day, but unfortunately, they only have enough testing supplies for about half that.

"Once the rack is loaded on the machine, the results come off in about three hours. and the machine is interfaced with our laboratory information system, so the results are ported directly.," said Dr. Jim Beebe, the laboratory director for San Luis Obispo County Public Health.

Public Health says they've owned this machine since 2013 and results are very accurate.

They've used it for other tests, such as sexually transmitted diseases.