By Manojna Maddipatla
(Reuters) – Quest Diagnostics Inc on Wednesday started offering blood tests, temperature monitoring and other tailored services to U.S. employers as they attempt to reopen factories and offices after months under coronavirus-led lockdowns.
The company said its latest “return to work” services will provide employers access to its blood tests to detect antibodies against the virus, and molecular tests that typically use nasal swab samples to detect the virus. Quest first started its antibody testing in April.
The services, customized based on the level of risk for employees, include onsite temperature monitoring, physician oversight and telemedicine, the company said. It will also offer surveillance retesting and contact tracing services, among others.
“We’ve seen a very strong interest in these services from companies all around the country,” a Quest spokeswoman told Reuters.
Testing for antibodies or blood proteins produced in response to infection has been touted by governments and some experts as a way to identify people who are less likely to fall ill or infect others.
However, many U.S. companies are not planning to use them after some reports suggested it was too early to conclude that antibodies to the new coronavirus translate into immunity, Reuters reported earlier this month.
Quest’s services are similar to those offered by LabCorp, which earlier this month said it would provide customized services for workplaces including antibody testing and access to its at-home sample collection kit, among others.
Quest said it was scaling up its COVID-19 lab operations to accommodate expected demand and expects to have a capacity of about 150,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day by the end of June, nearly double its current testing rate.
The company also said it has the capacity to perform about 200,000 antibody tests a day.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)