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Alabama lab authorized by FDA to do widespread COVID-19 testing

Small group of female laboratory assistants checking blood, using microscope and doing test for bacteria.

Golden Point Scientific Labs of Hoover has doubled its testing capacity and received FDA authorization to conduct widespread testing for COVID-19, giving health providers and community organizations a new alternative to identify those who have been exposed to the virus.

Golden Point Scientific Labs will partner with a range of agencies and providers to offer testing options for people across the state of Alabama.

“We’re in discussions now with local officials and health leaders about how we can best serve the community,” said Dale Agan, CEO of Golden Point Solutions LLC, the parent company of Golden Point Scientific Labs. “Our primary goal is to make sure that anyone who needs access to a test can get one.”

Barriers to testing are declining under new protocols at Medicare, which no longer will require a doctor’s order to get tested and which will now cover costs for those who lack health insurance, Agan said.

Golden Point, a verified vendor through the Veterans Administration Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), is also specifically seeking ways to identify and serve veterans who need COVID-19 testing. Veterans who are not enrolled in VA medical care may still get the test, Agan said.

Golden Point Solutions was formed in 2017 to provide software solutions and laboratory services for medical practices. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Golden Point to add COVID-19 testing services while it completes its final review.

“This is an important milestone for us,” said Jesse Hines, chief scientific officer for Golden Point. “But the bigger deal is that we are adding capacity to help to strengthen Alabama’s efforts to combat this virus and safely reopen our state.”

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Hines praised the FDA’s efficiency in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and working with Golden Point to expand its capacity and develop even faster testing methods.

“We have been able to take techniques originally designed to test 10 to 20 specimens an hour to a level that allows us to test 184 patients in about the same time,” Hines said. “I have personally talked with scientists at the FDA as late as 10 p.m., as early as 5:30 a.m. and on weekends as they work to respond to this pandemic.”

 

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