The Secaucus, N.J., diagnostic-testing company made the test available Monday. The test will be provided as a laboratory developed test, pending Food and Drug Administration review under emergency-use authorization.
"In times of national health crises, quality laboratory testing is absolutely critical to mobilizing effective public health response," Steve Rusckowski, chairman, president and chief executive of Quest, in a statement.
"Quest's national scale, diagnostic expertise and innovation, and relationships with half the country's physicians and health systems is a vital complement to the efforts of the CDC and other public health labs to contend with a growing number of suspected COVID-19 cases in the U.S.”
The test "detects viral RNA in respiratory specimens," the company said.
Quest’s test is expected to assess respiratory specimens collected in hospitals and physician offices. Quest said its service centers don't collect specimens of suspected covid-19 cases.
The company urged people who suspect they have, or who have been confirmed to have, the virus to speak with a physician to find out the best way to forward specimens to Quest.
Coronavirus has now been detected in almost 90 countries including the U.S. The CDC estimates that the virus causes serious illness in about 16% of cases. Older people and those with underlying health conditions like heart or lung disease are at higher risk of developing illness.