Christina Rodriguez & Faith Egbuonu
Updated: May 20, 2020 06:25 PM
Created: May 19, 2020 11:59 AM
ROSWELL, N.M. — New testing by Pathology Consultants of New Mexico (PCNM) could potentially increase the statewide testing capacity by 20%.
“Due to recent FDA emergency approval, we can now perform COVID testing with our existing high-volume throughput laboratory instruments,” Lisa Moores, CEO of PCNM, said. “This is an opportunity to continue to serve New Mexico, especially during this time of crisis.”
PCNM began testing Monday and is working closely with the New Mexico Department of Health and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office to coordinate testing efforts.
The independent lab has provided pathology services for over 70 years with laboratories in Roswell and Las Cruces.
“We’re working closely with the governor, the Department of Health and our state and local governments, and then our private industry in order to be able to bring COVID testing to the state of New Mexico and meet the testing and surveillance needs the governor has,” Moores said. “Without meeting the testing and surveillance needs, we’re not going to be able to reopen our state.”
“This instrument has a specificity rate of over 99%, so not only will it detect positives and just a general population, but it also has the ability to resample and retest for suspected false negatives,” Moores said. “In order to get operating rooms fully operational again, patients must have a negative COVID test. In order for patients to be discharged from hospitals or admitted to the hospitals, they need a negative COVID test.”
“So the hospitals that do have some of the newer technologies, they’re finding problems with false negatives and stuff with these technologies,” Moores said. “So our testing is actually highly specific, it is a very specialized instrument through ‘Hologic—The Panther.”
“The hospital in Roswell was in need of the COVID testing,” Moores said. “In fact, we’ve been working with both the mayor and also the CEO of the hospital in Roswell. The hospital was the first to send our first specimens on Monday, the day we were up for live patient testing.”
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