Quest Diagnostics' laboratory facility in Marlborough, Mass,, where they are making test kits for the coronavirus. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Coronavirus testing capacity could crumble under the combined demand of the pandemic and the fall flu season, Quest's executive vice president James Davis told the Financial Times.

Why it matters: Turnaround times for coronavirus tests are already at roughly a week. Labs only have the capacity to focus on people who are symptomatic, and that will get worse with the cold and the flu, Davis said.

What they’re saying:

  • “We would double our capacity tomorrow . . . but it’s not the labs that are the bottleneck. [It] is our ability to get physical machines and, more importantly, our ability to feed those machines with chemical reagents," Davis said, adding "other solutions need to be found" in addition to nasal swab testing.
  • Quest rival LabCorp also warned Tuesday virus is spreading faster than the company can handle: “We need all states to ensure we’re doing everything we can to better control the virus. If we can do that, then we’ll be able to have the tests that we need,” LabCorp CEO Adam Schechter told CNBC.

What to watch: The Food and Drug Administration last week granted Quest the first emergency use authorization to conduct pooled coronavirus testing in hopes to speed up the process.

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GOP Rep. Rodney Davis tests positive for coronavirus

Rep. Rodney Davis. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, said he has taken precautions against the virus, such as twice-daily temperature checks. He spoke to Republicans about staying safe after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) recently tested positive for the virus and spoke out against wearing face masks, Politico notes.

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Why it matters: Mass delays in coronavirus test results across the U.S. have thwarted mitigation efforts recommended by public health experts, per the New York Times. In absence of a federal plan, a bipartisan group of governors on Tuesday proposed one of the country's first interstate testing strategies.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


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The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.