Justin Sanders recalls sitting at his table in February 2020. “I was listening to the news and said, ‘This is going to be a big deal. We should plan for this to blow up.’” Sanders, an assistant professor and section head of molecular diagnostics at the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (OVDL) at Oregon State University, was referring to news of the coronavirus.
When the pandemic hit Benton County, Sanders noticed a lack of coordinated testing at the federal level and wanted to help.
The OVDL partnered with Willamette Valley Toxicology Laboratory in April 2020 to begin testing. The partnership tested about 1,000 patients a day across Oregon and even beyond the state border, often with a 48-hour turnaround for results.
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