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Centene has partnered with Quest Diagnostics to expand real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) Covid-19 testing across the US.

Centene will distribute 25,000 Quest Covid-19 test kits every week to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in ten states or districts across the country.

The company’s wide network of critical safety net providers will be used as part of the partnership to guarantee that testing capacity is provided for the states and districts that need it the most.

Additionally, Centene will provide oversight and training to ensure test kits are received and processed efficiently.

Quest Diagnostics will conduct Covid-19 testing through its network of laboratories across the US. The distribution of kits is set to begin on 4 May.

Centene chairman, president and CEO Michael Neidorff said: “Testing is a critical part of containing the spread of Covid-19 and preventing future outbreaks. We need to ensure every community has access to the testing they need, especially the most vulnerable and underserved populations.”

The company noted that the partnership is part of a broader set of actions that it is taking with key providers and stakeholders across the US. They are intended to help safety net providers to address the pandemic.

Commenting on the new development, Quest Diagnostics chairman, president and CEO Steve Rusckowski said: “Covid-19 testing is critically needed in underserved communities and our collaboration with Centene will help ensure that necessary and life-saving diagnostic testing is available to address that need.

“We are committed to serving the testing needs of Federally Qualified Health Centers during the Covid-19 pandemic.”