RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Burlington-based life science conglomerate LabCorp says it is now performing “several thousands” of coronavirus tests per day in the wake of an increasing number of new coronavirus infections in the United States.

Meanwhile, it is rapidly adding new equipment and staff to create additional capacity for patients who should be tested across the country.

“We are working closely with the CDC, FDA and others on a swift response to address this public health crisis,” said LabCorp’s vice president of Communications Pattie Kushner, in a statement.

“Our team is proud to play an important role as part of an industry consortium that is working every day to meet the growing demand for national testing. Our utmost concern is for the safety of the public, patients, healthcare service providers, and our employees.”

LabCorp made its COVID-19 test available last week and began receiving specimens in the lab on Friday, March 6, with more coming throughout the weekend.

“Those specimens have been tested and the results have been reported to the ordering clinicians and public health authorities as may be required,” Kushner added.

The company is providing the test – a qualitative assay that uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology – under guidelines established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The company said it won’t collect specimens for its test. That will be up to healthcare professionals working with patients who may be infected with coronavirus. But LabCorp will process the samples and make results available in three to four days.

“At this time, the test can be ordered anywhere in the U.S. by physicians or other healthcare providers,” Kushner said.

Health officials are calling for “all hands on deck” in communities across the US as coronavirus cases reached 1,000 on Monday. That same day, Vice President Mike Pence said  another four million tests would be available by the end of the week, on top of at least a million tests already in place across the country.

Life science giant LabCorp launches test for coronavirus