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ASU reaches milestone by completing 1 million COVID-19 tests

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Posted at 4:39 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 20:45:31-04

TEMPE, AZ — Arizona State University has reached a milestone, finishing up its one-millionth COVID-19 test.

Dr. Joshua LaBaer is the executive director for ASU’s Biodesign Institute.

He says this is a testament to the tireless work of many scientists and volunteers.

He also stresses that this momentous number commemorates ASU’s massive effort in response to the pandemic.

“When we first started this, we had no idea we’d be able to scale it this large,” he told ABC15.

Though with lots of hard work and dedication, they were able to pull it off.

ASU started the planning stage for COVID-19 testing in February of 2020.

Dr. LaBaer says he couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved in making this happen; especially because he says it took hundreds of people and thousands of hours to make it happen.

“We’ve processed over 1,000 gallons of saliva in this process. So, it’s been an amazing effort,” said Dr. LaBaer.

He says last November was the peak of their testing.

They processed more than 160,000 tests in that month.

Dr. LaBaer tells ABC15, before the vaccine was available, wearing masks and testing were the only ways to prevent the spread of the virus.

“And I think, you’ll be difficult to know how many lives we save, but I’m sure it will be many thousands,” he said proudly.

While the vaccine is now available, Dr. LaBaer says testing is still important in helping lower the curve.