ROCHESTER, Minn. — A new coronavirus test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19, in clinical samples has been developed, Mayo Clinic announced on its website Thursday, March 12.

The test has been fully validated and will be submitted by Mayo Clinic to the Food and Drug Administration for review and emergency use authorization.

"This test should help ease some of the burden that is currently being felt at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health laboratories," Dr. William Morice II, president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, told the Mayo News Network. "We are doing everything we can to help relieve the burden during this time to provide answers for patients here in Rochester and around the world."

Mayo Clinic will follow CDC's recommended guidelines for SARS-CoV-2 testing, enabling U.S. health care providers to send testing directly to Mayo Clinic. For existing Mayo Clinic Laboratories clients, the SARS-CoV-2 assay will be offered in the U.S. and abroad.

"An individual can now receive his or her result for SARS-CoV-2 within 24 hours," says Dr. Matthew Binnicker, a clinical microbiologist and director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Through collaborations with clinicians at Mayo Clinic and health care providers around the world, Mayo Clinic said its subspecialized laboratories are a critical component to patient care.

"We have the expertise to create tests such as this one, and we felt it was our obligation to help ease the burden that the CDC and public health laboratories are feeling at this time," Binnicker said.

Mayo Clinic has been in close contact with officials from the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC. All positive samples will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Health or CDC for appropriate follow-up testing and confirmation. Then test results will be communicated with public health officials.

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