Quest Diagnostics said Wednesday that its proprietary monkeypox virus test is now available across the U.S., and within a month, it will be able to process samples using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s orthopoxvirus test.
The company plans to reach a capacity of 30,000 tests per week by the end of July, according to the statement.
The announcement comes one week after rival Labcorp said that it will begin testing for monkeypox using the CDC’s test. Both Quest and Labcorp are among five laboratory companies tapped by the federal government to increase monkeypox testing in the U.S to catch up with rising cases.
The CDC announced Monday that Mayo Clinic Laboratories began testing as well. According to the agency, Mayo Clinic Laboratories expects to have the capacity to process up to 10,000 tests per week.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in the statement that the addition of commercial labs “will not only increase testing capacity but also make it more convenient for providers and patients to access tests by using existing provider-to-laboratory networks.”
As of July 12, there were 929 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.S., with confirmed cases in 40 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to the CDC. Experts have cautioned that the number of confirmed cases may be an undercount due to inadequate testing.
Quest’s polymerase chain reaction test will be performed at its advanced lab in San Juan Capistrano, California, but the company may expand that to other labs in the future.
“Depending on demand, Quest can expand capacity for monkeypox testing across other advanced laboratories in its national network,” the company said.
Quest specifically noted that test processing will eventually be available in New York, pending review by the state’s Department of Health.
A spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the company is not providing any estimates on current testing demand. The spokesperson also declined to disclose what Quest’s testing capacity will be when both the company’s and the CDC’s tests will be offered in August.
As of July 12, there were 10,611 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide, according to the CDC.