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Denver lab wants to help businesses test workers for coronavirus

UniPath can now process hundreds of tests per day
Posted at 11:56 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 19:51:16-04

DENVER — Like many companies, UniPath had to pivot when the novel coronavirus pandemic shut down society. The Denver pathology lab saw a decline in business with many elective medical procedures and wellness visits on hold. But the company soon realized it was well-positioned to switch to coronavirus testing.

"Being a diagnostic lab with the molecular capabilities we felt it was our obligation and our duty to the community to bring this testing up," said Joe Zimmerman, vice president and general manager of UniPath.

The company bought new equipment and brought furlouged staff members back into the lab. UniPath is now able to process thousands of tests each day. The lab offers a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that determines if someone has an active infection, as well as an antibody test that shows if a patient was previously infected.

Cedar Diagnostics, a UniPath-affliated lab in Durango, has already helped test workers at a food manufacturing facility and a car dealership. UniPath even offers a PCR test that employers can self-administer, as long as a clinician or physician oversees the test through a web camera. The goal is to allow employers to quickly isolate infected workers, while allowing healthy people to get back on the job.

"There’s a lot of need for this and there’s a lot of excitement over this because everybody wants to get back to work," said Zimmerman.