CINCINNATI, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that the cobas 6800 testing machine that he successfully helped UC Health secure has arrived. This vital machine can conduct more than 1,000 diagnostic tests per day, dramatically increasing COVID-19 testing capacity in southwest Ohio. UC Health was initially put on a waiting list after purchasing the machine due to vague federal guidance which led the manufacturer to withhold the machine. Portman worked with Admiral Brett Giroir, the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Trump Administration to secure the release of the machine. The machine has now arrived in Cincinnati.
“The arrival of this new machine is great news because it will dramatically increase testing capacity in southwest Ohio. It will also help ensure Ohioans experiencing symptoms get the certainty they deserve and appropriate treatment, if necessary,” said Portman. “Increased testing is how we’ll ultimately overcome this pandemic because once we have solid data on the scope of the disease, we’ll be able to steer our resources where they’re needed, and we’ll be able to know when it is safe to reopen our economy. We still need more equipment and data, but this new machine for UC Health will help. I will continue to do anything I can to help get more of this vital equipment into Ohio.”
“The UC Health Precision Medicine Laboratory received the Cobas 3000 on Thursday, and we are grateful to Senator Portman for his support of expanding access to COVID-19 testing across southwest Ohio,” said UC Health President & CEO Richard P. Lofgren, MD. “We are working to grow our capacity to test for COVID-19, and as testing supplies and capacity increase, we intend to be able to provide access to testing to our larger community.”
NOTE: Earlier this week, Portman announced that he successfully helped UC Health secure vital equipment to increase diagnostic testing for COVID-19. UC Health is Greater Cincinnati’s academic health system, affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. On Monday, the UC Health Precision Medicine Laboratory began performing in-house testing for COVID-19.