West Bloomfield’s Orchard Laboratories is the first private lab in metro Detroit to operate the new TaqPath Multiplex Kit to test for COVID-19, influenza A, and influenza B, all at once.
The new assay was recently released by ThermoFisher in Massachusetts. The test uses a single nasal swab to test for all three viruses.
Orchard has conducted up to 5,000 RT-PCR tests per day since the beginning of the pandemic and expects to ramp up to 8,000 or more tests per day. The RT-PCR test uses Real Time Polymerase Chain Reactions to detect RNA found in the COVID-19 virus in upper and lower respiratory specimens. Orchard uses the ThermoFisher 7500DX and Quant Studio instruments to run COVID-19 tests 24 hours a day.
“We are proud to be able to expand our lab capabilities into a combined testing for COVID-19, influenza A and influenza B especially now as we move into a critical time with the three viruses,” says Sami Ahmad, founder and CEO of Orchard. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have worked diligently to increase our load capabilities to be able to increase the number of tests and rapid results for the community.”
Orchard labs will be able to provide the new test to physicians and other health care providers across metro Detroit.
The company is open seven days a week and is providing COVID-19 testing for more than 70 nursing homes across Michigan along with dozens of urgent care centers, corporations, film sets, and other health care providers. It is a toxicology lab and more than doubled its number of employed staff since March.
The company was founded in 2014. It provides support services for drug testing, medication monitoring, and viral/bacterial identification to hospital organizations, medical practices, and clinics. It is located at 7901 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 100.