• preparation

    In this section we have laid out the first four steps in setting up a mass testing site: obtaining the required permits and authorizations, partnering with a molecular laboratory for sample processing, gathering the resources required, and identifying the testing site.


    A critical first step is to research and request the permits and authorizations that will be required from your local government and other governing bodies in order to operate a mass testing site. We have provided a sample Permit Request Letter to assist in the approval process.


    You can view an example permit request letter below and make your own editable copy of the letter here.


    You can view an example proposal presentation below and make your own editable copy of the presentation here.


    After samples are collected at your mass testing site, they will need to be transported to a molecular laboratory for processing. As you explore your laboratory options, here are a few considerations to take into account.



    Where is the lab located? How far is it from your sample collection site? How long would it take to transport samples from your site to the lab?

    Testing Equipment

    What testing equipment does the laboratory have? Most importantly, does it have PCR and the test kits and reagents required to processes COVID-19 samples. Right now, the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19 is PCR using a nose or throat swab sample; however, new tests are currently in development.

    Sample Types & Requirements

    What requirements does the lab have around sample collection and delivery? Labs will likely have specifications around the materials used to collect the samples and how each sample is labeled, collected, and transported to the lab.

    Total Testing Capacity

    How many total COVID-19 samples can the laboratory process per day?

    Latent Capacity

    Does the lab currently have available capacity? Is the lab able to process additional samples from your testing site? If so, how many can they process per day?

    Reporting & Information Systems

    What is their sample request process? Most labs have specific forms (either online or paper-based) you need to fill and processes that you need to follow in order for samples to be processed at their lab.

    Sample Turnaround Times

    How long does will it take for sample results to be delivered? How will the sample results be communicated to you?

    Partnership Agreement

    Found a partner lab that's a good fit? Formalize the relationship with a partnership agreement or service-level agreement.


    Now it's time to think about all of the different people, materials, consumables, and operating partners you will need to set up and operate a mass testing site. Below is an example resource list to get you started.


    Browse the example resource list below, and make your own editable copy of the list here. Note that your resource requirements will vary depending on the type of testing site, the size of your operation, and your country's specific clinical requirements.


    If you are looking to source supplies in Nigeria, we can help! Please provide your contact information and a description of the supplies you need, and we'll be in touch!


    Where will testing take place? Here are a few questions to consider as you explore location and space options for your sample collection site.


    Size of Space

    Ensure that the space is large enough to allow for adequate social distancing (especially for booth-based testing). For drive-through testing, think about how many cars will be able to fit in the space at any given time and where cars will wait if there is a queue. Large parking lots seem to have worked well in many places around the globe.


    Will the testing site be easy for your target patient population to access? Think about how they will likely travel to your site and what challenges they may experience with different locations.

    Entry & Exit

    Especially for drive-through testing sites, it is useful to have separate entry and exit points to allow for easy flow through the site.


    Will you need to pay to rent the space? Are there any organizations that would be willing to donate their parking lots or fields for you to use to help reduce overall costs?

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