WSJ US BusinessCovid-19 Lab Companies Retrench as Rapid Tests Take Over

July 24, 20220

More people checking for Covid-19 infections are choosing rapid, at-home antigen tests over PCR tests processed at laboratories, making variant-driven waves harder to track and helping to spur a retrenchment in testing capacity that labs had built up over the pandemic.

U.S. laboratories currently have the capacity to process the results of about 62 million PCR tests for Covid-19 a month, which is half of what it was in March, researchers at the consulting firm Health Catalysts Group estimate, after demand dropped and government funding diminished. Some laboratories and diagnostic companies have laid off employees or reassigned them to other tasks.

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