Northwell Health unveils new, increased-capacity COVID test

It’s a coronavirus test that’s said to perform as well as the CDC’s but it can test three times more patients at once.

Dr. Gregory Berry and his team at Northwell Health Labs in New Hyde Park on Long Island started working on the concept prior to the coronavirus pandemic. If approved by the New York State Department of Health, the platform could test 91 patients at once up from 29 just as accurately.

“We actually found a way to look for a specific gene in COVID-19 that’s unique to the virus alone so we could amplify it and tell someone if they’re infected with the virus or not,” Berry said.

They plan to submit the test to the state within the next week and hope for a quick approval.

“As numbers go up, it becomes more and more critical we make it as efficient as possible to run as many patients as possible and keep up with the New York demand.”

Northwell has seen about 100,000 COVID patients throughout their health system since the beginning of the pandemic and they've performed over 1.5 million tests. If the New York State Department of Health approves this platform, they’ll not only be able to do more but it will also be another option if they need it

“If we can put testing on as many platforms as possible, we could be ready for supply chain or second wave that could potentially cause issues for us,” Berry said.

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!

With the positive test rate above 3-percent on Long Island, officials say it’s a win-win.

“Testing efficiently and rapidly is really the key to containing virus and reducing the spread,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.  

As of Thursday, the Northwell health system had over 300 COVID-19 patients- not nearly as many compared to April but certainly more than they had just a month ago.