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‘We Didn’t Want to Sit Idle’: A Rush to Meet Pro Sports’ Testing Needs


But the tour needed a speedier solution for on-site testing to monitor individuals’ health during the events without clogging up local labs. For that, Levinson said, they enlisted Sanford Health, a South Dakota organization that was already a title sponsor of a PGA Tour Champions event.

Sanford Health converted leftover medical trucks into three mobile laboratories, Levinson said, which can return results from the nasopharyngeal swab test in less than two hours.

Phillips, the Spectrum Solutions executive, said that he had talked with nearly all of the professional sports leagues in the U.S., including the National Women’s Soccer League and U.F.C., because many compare notes.

“It was just a cascading effect,” he said. “One called me then another and another.” M.L.B., he said, came to him in April and was expecting to use 275,000 of his kits by the end of the year.

To meet the sudden demand, Phillips said recently that Spectrum Solutions’ factory was working around the clock to make 3.5 million saliva test kits this month. He hoped to double that number, and his staff, to about 500, by August.

Thanks to automation, Dr. Andy Brooks, the chief operating officer of RUCDR, said his lab in Piscataway, N.J., could handle 50,000 tests per day, with more room to grow. He said they had five $2 million modules — robots, essentially — each handling about 10,000 tests, and each requiring about 25 people to run.


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