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Omicron tests limits of COVID testing labs

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You could call it a life flight to help schools survive. Every day, twice a day, a small airplane lands at the municipal airport in Palo Alto, California, containing thousands of swabbed samples from students, teachers and staff at Los Angeles Unified School district, the second largest school district in the US. The samples are then driven in a van to nearby Menlo Park, home to SummerBio, the laboratory currently conducting the most COVID tests by volume in the state. SummerBio, which launched in May 2020 shortly after the start of pandemic, says the ongoing omicron variant surge has resulted in the lab testing about 100 thousand samples a day, mostly from school districts, including Los Angeles and San Jose.


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