New details of the state's deal with Quest Diagnostics show tests will be stockpiled for anticipated surge.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Gov. Kate Brown's request for COVID-19 tests produced about half of what the state wanted.Oregon will get only half the 20,000 coronavirus tests that Gov. Kate Brown promised from a private commercial lab and state health officials have no plans to put those tests to immediate use identifying infected residents.

New details of the state's deal with Quest Diagnostics show Brown and her top political aide provided misleading information to the public last month about the tests, according to records obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

Brown on March 18 said increasing testing capacity was one of her top priorities before announcing: "The Oregon Health Authority has signed an initial contract for 20,000 tests with one of the private providers."

In reality, the state didn't sign the Quest contract until two weeks later on April 1. Oregon's allotment with the private lab was for just 10,000 tests, and state officials said they will keep those tests in reserve for an anticipated surge in the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

This Oregonian/OregonLive story is shared as part of a local media project to increase COVID-19 news coverage.


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