Quest Diagnostics to Provide COVID-19 Testing to School K-12 in Collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks to Support Safer Classroom Learning in Texas for New State-Wide School Testing Program


SECAUCUS, New Jersey and IRVING, Texas and BOSTON, 20 October 2021 / PRNewswire / – Quest Diagnosis (NYSE: DGX), the nation’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced it has entered into an agreement with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to provide COVID-19 school testing services for the Kindergarten to Secondary (K-12) to Support safer classroom learning statewide Texas. Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), through its Concentric by Ginkgo program, will provide support services, such as online reporting and site staff, for the program through its collaboration with Quest for K- school testing. 12.

With thousands of schools eligible for the program in more than 1,150 districts of Texas, Quest Diagnostics will offer COVID-19 testing services to public, private and K-12 charter schools for the duration of the 2021-2022 school year. Quest will perform testing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and other nucleic acid amplification assay (NAAT) technologies through its major clinical laboratories in the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan areas.

As part of the state program, school administrators can choose to implement a testing program that serves students, teachers, and staff through group testing. Schools and families don’t pay for tests. Instead, a grant to reopen Schools of Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC), thanks to a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS) and DSHS will cover the costs.

“Quest Diagnostics’ expertise in COVID-19 testing can help children and teachers learn more safely throughout Texas in person this school year, ”said Chad richards, Vice President and General Manager, Southwest Region, Quest Diagnostics. “Testing is essential to contain the spread of COVID-19 and create safer environments for all of us. We applaud the state of Texas for recognizing the value of testing for children, teachers and staff, and we look forward to bringing our high quality and practical testing capabilities to participating schools. “

The national leader in COVID-19 testing for patients and healthcare providers, Quest Diagnostics has increased its presence in K-12 school testing in recent weeks, directly and with collaborators. Quest has been named one of the laboratory suppliers for Ginkgo recently announced deal to provide COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the 2021-2022 school year. Quest Diagnostics also offers K-12 school testing in more than 20 states nationwide.

“Our collaboration with Quest Diagnostics and Ginkgo Bioworks is significant as our COVID-19 testing practices are now supported by leaders in the healthcare industry,” said Lonnie morgan, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at ResponsiveEd, which implements pooled testing across all of its 85 schools in Texas. “By working together, our students, educators and families have more peace of mind and our classrooms become better places to learn.

“It is a privilege for us to join Quest Diagnostics and to work alongside educators and public health leaders across Texas to help keep kids in class and COVID out with this program, ”said Matt McKnight, Commercial Director of Ginkgo Bioworks and Head of Concentric by Ginkgo. “Testing programs like this give schools the freedom and flexibility they need to interrupt chains of transmission and reduce disruption to all of the incredibly important activities that take place every day in school communities. ”

Quest is a leading provider of health services in Texas, and has approximately 4,200 employees statewide.

About group tests
Pooled testing, which combines samples (usually nasal swabs) from all consenting people in a classroom and runs them as one test, can dramatically increase testing capacity and reduce the cost of testing programs. Quest provides cluster testing for schools and other institutions using high quality, validated PCR grade lab tests. Pooled testing is a strategy that builds on many actions taken by schools and public health systems, including immunization (for people 12 years of age and older), symptom screening, physical distancing and improvement of facilities, face masks / coverings, hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment and monitoring of return to school after illness.

For more information visit ConcentricByGinkgo.com and QuestBacktoClass.com.

This project is supported by the National Testing Action Program (NTAP) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with financial assistance in the total amount 10 billion dollars with 100 percent funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the HHS coordination centers. The content is that of the authors and does not necessarily represent official opinions or an endorsement of the CDC / HHS or the US government. For more information, please visit DSHS.Texas.gov.

About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical laboratory results, our diagnostic knowledge reveals new avenues for identifying and treating disease, inspiring healthy behaviors, and improving healthcare management. Quest serves one in three American adults and half of the physicians and hospitals of United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and in the right context, our diagnostic knowledge can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo is building a platform to allow customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company’s platform enables biotechnology applications in a variety of markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including pooled K-12 testing, optimization of vaccine manufacturing, and discovery of therapies. For more information visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.

Forward-looking statements (Gingko Bioworks)
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements regarding the provision of certain K-12 COVID-19 testing services. These forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “believe”, “plan”, “potential”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “the strategy”, “the future ”,“ opportunity, ““ plan ”,“ may ”,“ should ”,“ will ”,“ would ”,“ will ”,“ will continue ”,“ will probably result ”, and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements regarding future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, therefore, are subject to risks and uncertainties. There are many factors that could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including, but not limited to: (i) the effect of the business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp . (“Soaring Eagle”) on business relationships, performance and general affairs, (ii) the risks that the business combination disrupts Ginkgo’s current plans and potential difficulties in retaining Ginkgo employees, (iii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be brought against Ginkgo in connection with its business combination with Soaring Eagle, (iv) the volatility of the price of Ginkgo’s securities now that it is a public company due to various factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which Ginkgo plans to operate, variations in performance between competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo’s business and changes in capital structure combined, (v) the ability to implement activities assess plans, forecasts and other expectations after the completion of the business combination, and identify ize and realize additional opportunities, and (vi) the risk of declining demand for products using synthetic biology. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section of Ginkgo’s current report on Form 8-K filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC “) the September 20, 2021 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to time with the SEC. These documents identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Ginkgo gives no assurance that it will meet its expectations.

SOURCE Quest Diagnosis

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