UCSF Health has been actively working to develop on-site testing capacity for patients who are suspected of having the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19. We do not have the capacity to test non-UCSF patients at this time.
On Monday, March 9, we began providing testing on site for our hospitalized and emergency department patients, using a rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test developed at UCSF. This system, which offers the same type of test used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is now enabling us to evaluate approximately 60 to 100 patients per day.
This capacity allows us to cover the current needs for our hospitalized patients and those entering through the Emergency Department each day, with some additional testing for patients at the UCSF outpatient Respiratory Screening Clinic who are suspected of having the virus.
Outpatient tests remain limited and are primarily analyzed in external commercial laboratories. However, we expect to continue to expand our testing capabilities in the coming days and weeks to include more outpatients with COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, our researchers are actively working to develop tests that can provide results more quickly. Longer term, we also anticipate receiving additional screening equipment through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and CZ Biohub, pending approval for clinical use for COVID-19 by the Food and Drug Administration. Finally, several commercial reference laboratories have initiated testing in the past week and are expected to significantly increase the testing capacity in this area.
We are continuing to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local departments of public health, and the City of San Francisco on guidelines around these testing protocols and our emergency preparations overall.
UCSF Coronavirus Resources
Information for the UCSF community, including procedures, guidance for travelers, and latest updates.