Sonora Quest Laboratories, the market share leader in diagnostic laboratory testing in Arizona, announced it began processing COVID-19 nasopharyngeal and throat swab samples at their main laboratory in Tempe, on March 20, 2020. This strategic move will allow Sonora Quest to decrease anticipated turnaround time and increase the number of COVID-tests it can run per day for Arizona patients. 

Sonora Quest began processing COVID-19 samples earlier in the month and initially specimens were sent to one of their parent companies in California, Quest Diagnostics, who performed the testing. Sonora Quest has made material investments to infrastructure and equipment and will perform testing locally on nasopharyngeal and throat swabs while other non-swab respiratory samples will continue to be sent to Quest Diagnostics for testing. 

“In bringing the COVID-19 testing to our local lab, our anticipated turnaround time is expected to improve however it could be impacted by high demand,” said Dr. Brian Koeneman, Scientific Director of Molecular Diagnostics with Sonora Quest. “All labs are dealing with a global supply shortage of the sample collection kits needed for the testing and we are continuously pursuing all options to keep up with the demand.”

Patients suspected of, or confirmed to have, COVID-19 should consult with a physician regarding the best way to provide a specimen for testing by Sonora Quest. It is important to note Sonora Quest requires a physician to order the COVID-19 test and it is not available directly to consumers at Sonora Quest Patient Service Centers or through mobile services. 

Additionally, as a healthcare company that touches the lives of millions of patients each year, Sonora Quest has taken additional measures to provide protection and convenience for patients and their families. Measures include: Increased and rigorous cleaning protocols, additional walk-in capabilities, social distancing in Patient Service Center lobbies, and options for patients to check in and proceed to their vehicle to be called when it is time for service. 

Furthermore, patients in Maricopa County who are not symptomatic for COVID-19 have the option to schedule at-home collection appointments for routine blood collection through Sonora Quest’s top priorities include protecting the health and safety of patients and our employees and maintaining convenient access to testing as part of critical public health infrastructure in Arizona. 

For more information about the COVID-19 testing service, visit