b'Serving behind the scenesLab technicians worked double shifts. Markets and restaurants balanced business andpublic safety. Essential workers everywhere stepped up to help those in greatest need. Diagnostic lab workersAt first, after everything shut down in March of 2020, the lab workers at Quest Diagnostics inHorsham didnt have much to do.Their normally busy laboratory was receiving fewer samples of blood and tissues to test for strepDiane Amati Jane Reedy Sherri McClintockthroat, blood disorders, cancer, and other medical problems. Because of the stay-at-home orders, people had stopped going to their doctors for rou- information to decide when to reopen schools, as tine problems. well as restaurants, gyms, and other businesses.But that all changed in April. Quest workers are trained always to take precau-The volumes went through the roof, said Janetions when they handle specimens such as blood Reedy, a laboratory manager, recalling what theand tissues, Ms. Reedy explained. They normally lab was like after Quest became one of the com- wear lab coats, gloves, and face shields, and wash panies running COVID-19 tests. We had to calltheir hands frequently. With COVID, we started to back everyone who was temporarily laid off. wear masks and social-distance, she said.By the end of 2020, Ms. Reedy said, Quest Diag- They also have to be careful when they transport nostics in Horsham had run about 30 million CO- the specimens to the labs. Lab workers thinkVID tests. The results of those tests were then re- of every specimen as a person, said Sherriported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health,McClintock, who is a lab supervisor.to determine positivity rates across the state.Each specimen requires something different, The positivity rate is the number of people whoshe said. They have to be transported in good have been infected out of every hundred peoplecondition.Peoples lives are relying on the care tested. State and local governments were using thisQuest delivers every day. 23'