University of California
The need for a
large-scale testing program
As the holidays approached at the end of 2020, UCSF labs conducting COVID-19 testing were reaching their capacity limits, and cases were rising in the Bay Area. It became clear that UCSF needed a partner to augment their testing efforts and ramp up their testing quickly and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
When looking for the right testing solution, UCSF wanted a partner that could launch quickly for employees who had traveled, had been exposed, or even employees who were asymptomatic. Ralph Gonzales, the Chief Innovation Officer at UCSF Health explained, “We need convenient, accurate COVID-19 testing to continue our essential work of caring for patients, educating students and trainees, and conducting research to combat the spread of the virus.”
“the Color program allowed UCSF to substantially increase its asymptomatic COVID-19 testing volume by making the test kits easy to get, the specimen is easy to collect, and the test results quickly processed and returned. This provided our on-site workforce reassurance that our work environment remained safe during the winter COVID surge.”
Creating a quick
and easy transition
Color and UCSF worked together to provide more testing at UCSF campuses. Specifically, UCSF wanted to ensure unfettered access to testing for asymptomatic students and employees with COVID exposures. As COVID-19 infection rates began to rise in early November, UCSF needed to act fast. Within seven days of launching, Color began administering tests for UCSF, averaging 400 tests weekly. With Color’s API, UCSF can easily track eligibility, results, and testing status. UCSF has new employees and students starting daily, and Color’s API automatically registers these new hires from the UCSF system into the Color system for testing.
Through their collaboration, Color and UCSF ramped up testing and provided faster, accurate tests to the UCSF community, and quickly scaled the program across six UCSF campuses. With this extensive testing effort, UCSF can respond to increased positivity rates and offer more employees and students tests based on UCSF’s Daily Health screener. During critical times, UCSF administered 2,000-3,000 tests a week. Gonzales describes the impact, saying, “Color allowed UCSF to substantially increase its COVID-19 testing volume by making the test kits easy to get, the specimen easy to collect, and the test results quickly processed and returned. This provided our on-site workforce reassurance that our work environment remained safe during the winter COVID surge.”
Large-scale COVID-19 testing continues to be a key strategy of response for UCSF to monitor the virus. Color and UCSF now average 1,800 tests per week ensuring their employees and learners continue to stay safe.