RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – LabCorp is now performing 20,000 COVID-19 tests starting today.

That is double its output from two weeks ago when the Burlington-base life science conglomerate began receiving specimens — a result of approved emergency use authorization (EUAs), it said.

LabCorp is now performing COVID-19 testing at its labs in Phoenix, Ariz., Burlington, N.C., and Raritan, N.J, and said it will continue to work to increase capacity to combat the nationwide testing backlog.

“The company is intently focused on making COVID-19 laboratory testing available to patients who are symptomatic and should be tested,” it said in a statement.

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 does not collect specimens for its test. That is 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.

Calling the event an “unprecedented crisis,” LabCorp also stressed its adherence to protocol.

“LabCorp has employees around the world, and a large contingent of employees in the U.S. are front line healthcare workers. Our employees and their family members are also part of their communities, and we know it is inevitable that our employees could be exposed to COVID-19.

“As we learn of employees who may have been exposed, we are moving quickly to make sure they are following all recommendations and protocols, including self-quarantine, and receive appropriate care and support. We are also working in coordination with public health authorities to respond when we are informed about visitors to our locations who may have been infected and could have exposed others. If we learn of a potential exposure, the location will be closed and thoroughly cleaned so that we can bring it back online to serve patients and their healthcare needs.”

US states reported 4,581 new cases of novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours, according to a tally by CNN on Friday morning.

CNN had tallied at least 8,898 cases with 149 deaths at 6 a.m. ET Thursday, rising to 13,479 total cases, with 196 deaths, one day later.

This is an increase of 4,581 cases and 47 deaths.

A week ago, on March 13, CNN was reporting 1,666 cases and 41 deaths.