Saskatoon lab provides COVID-19 exams in Sask. at a value

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According to General Manager Heather Deobald, the test costs $ 150 and has an average turnaround time of between 12 and 48 hours.

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Zak Vescera

Publication date:

02/02/2021February 3, 2021Read for 2 minutes Join the conversation Heather Deobald is the general manager of Quantum Genetix, a private laboratory that offers paid COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic people. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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A Saskatoon company is now offering its customers a faster COVID-19 test – for one price.

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Quantum Genetix, a suburban laboratory near Highway 16, has received approval from the Saskatchewan Health Department to sell a test to anyone in Saskatchewan as long as there are no symptoms of the virus.

The lab previously only sold tests to companies or people who needed evidence of a negative test in order to travel internationally.

The test costs $ 150 for non-travelers and $ 195 for travelers. According to General Manager Heather Deobald, the typical turnaround time is between 12 and 48 hours.

The Saskatchewan Health Department offers free testing, but prioritizes people with COVID-19 symptoms as well as close contacts from confirmed cases.

Deobald said some of their customers are in a rush.

“And people are happy about that, especially companies. We have a few companies that routinely test their employees on a weekly basis, ”she said.

“We have mines, construction companies, small businesses, dental offices, real estate – I can’t name them all.”

She said about two percent of customers tested positive.

The lab can handle up to 350 tests a day, but averages around 40. It also offers expedited testing – $ 450 for a six-hour result.

She acknowledged that a negative PCR test is not a guarantee that the person does not have COVID-19 because false negative results can occur, but said her service complements the SHA’s own tests.

Customers have different reasons for using the test, she said, citing the example of someone who travels for work and wants some level of security before returning home.

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