Jul 24, 2020 - Health

The demand for coronavirus tests is about to increase more

A man loads coronavirus tests onto a Quest Diagnostics airplane.
A man loads coronavirus test samples. Photo: Lauren A. Little/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest lab testing companies, expects demand for coronavirus tests will grow even more over the next two months as faculty and students return to college campuses, more workers return to offices, more patients visit their doctor, and more people use retail testing locations.

Why it matters: These variables could further strain testing capacity, which has already been stretched to the limit due to the rising number of coronavirus infections.

Driving the news: Universities, in particular, will require "a lot of testing required in the month of August," Quest Diagnostics CEO Steve Rusckowski said on an investor call Thursday.

  • However, he said the company expects turnaround times for test results will get back to "acceptable levels that we've had in the past."

Between the lines: Private labs are going to be under a lot of pressure to do more tests a lot quicker to help identify and stem the spread of the virus, and the past four months has shown there are weaknesses in the system.

Go deeper: Why speedy test results matter

Go deeper