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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

Updated Oct 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer booster has 95.6% efficacy, large study shows — FDA authorizes mix-and-match for booster shots — J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year.
  2. Health: Cases and deaths keep falling — White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11 — The global coronavirus vaccine gap — Gates Foundation to send $120 million of antiviral pills to lower-income countries.
  3. Politics: Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID — Puerto Rico leads U.S. vaccination rates — Hawaii invites fully vaccinated travelers to return from Nov. 1.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated Oct 31, 2020 - Health

A new round of coronavirus shutdowns hits the U.S. and Europe

A couple wearing protective face masks ride their bicycle in a deserted street before the 9pm city-wide night time curfew during the coronavirus. Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Several U.S. cities and European governments imposed new restrictions Wednesday to curb the spikes in COVID-19 cases, such as closing restaurants, bars and limiting social gatherings.

Nov 1, 2020 - Health

WH accuses Fauci of playing politics over bleak coronavirus assessment

President Trump and NIAID director Anthony Fauci during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in April. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci praised the Biden campaign's coronavirus stance, criticized White House adviser Scott Atlas and offered a bleak assessment of the U.S. pandemic response in an interview with the Washington Post, published Saturday.

Why it matters: Fauci's comments are perhaps his most frank yet and come as COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. The White House called Fauci's remarks three days out from the election "unacceptable." Atlas publicly responded to his fellow coronavirus task force member in a tweet late Saturday.