Fresno County and Fresno State introduce public health laboratory for COVID-19 testing analysis

The County of Fresno and Fresno State announced today a partnership to help conduct much-needed laboratory analysis for COVID-19. The County and University have teamed up to deploy a temporary public health laboratory that will enhance local capacity for COVID-19 testing analysis.

“The need for timely and accurate test information has never been more important than it is now as we all try to fight this pandemic,” said Fresno County District 4 Supervisor and Board Chairman, Buddy Mendes. “This partnership between the County and Fresno State is critical to getting more test results analyzed quickly so we can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 here in our community and elsewhere.”

Located in the Jordan Agricultural Research Center on the Fresno State campus, the state-of-the-art lab offers proper ventilation, biosafety controls and suitable workspaces for lab technicians. Specifically designed to conduct complex biological testing, the lab will offer the capability to analyze between 40-60 test specimens each day, using a testing method known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

“We are pleased to be a partner with Fresno County in serving the needs of our city and region,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “While the County’s Department of Public Health manages this Herculean task, we will do all we can to be helpful to them during this challenging time.”

The County purchased the lab equipment and received a Clinical Laboratory License from the California Department of Public Health earlier this month. The County and Fresno State have been working closely to bring the laboratory online quickly to help identify and control the spread of COVID-19 in our community. To adhere to California-mandated safety protocols, the on-campus laboratory will only receive and house collected specimens, as swab tests continue to be conducted offsite.

This is a temporary location for this lab as the County rebuilds its 6,500 square foot laboratory, which was destroyed in a flood in 2019.

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