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Pekin Medical Lab Begins Processing COVID-19 Tests

Centers for Disease Control

A Pekin medical lab is starting up COVID-19 testing in earnest this week. Reditus Laboratories is working on a 24/7 basis to get results churned out for 2,000 tests a day, or 14,000  a week.

The Pekin City Council loaned the company $100,000 on Monday to help Reditus increase testing capacity. That's in addition to more than $100,000 in seed money from CEO Dr. Aaron Rossi.

Rossi said the reagents used for testing cost about $400,000 a week.

"We recoup that money through the testing process for our clients. However, sometimes, you know, the money doesn't come after we do the test. We wait 30 days for it. A lot of the city's help with the loan money helps fund the initial startup cash flow process," he said.

Rossi said he believes his private lab is the only one doing COVID-19 testing outside Chicago, and certainly the only one in Central Illinois.

He said the current turnaround time from the initial test to a patient getting results from his lab is 24 to 48 hours.

"I've heard people waiting seven to 10 days to get results back. I know that Quest [private lab] is backlogged, from what I've heard, 150,000 tests. So I guess that's what all these other small private labs can help out with is help get patients their results sooner," he said.

Rossi said a testing swab shortage is also a persistent problem. Reditus Labs is working on producing a 3D-printed swab using a design approved by Harvard.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.