OPKO Health’s BioReference Laboratories Reports Results of the Largest COVID-19 Public School Testing Program Nationwide

Nearly 210,000 New York City students, teachers, principals and staff were tested by BioReference with a positivity rate of 0.47%

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., (January 4, 2021) – BioReference Laboratories, Inc., an OPKO Health company (NASDAQ: OPK), today announced the results of COVID-19 molecular PCR tests for public schools throughout New York City’s boroughs, with a positivity rate of 0.47 percent.

“These results indicate that an active surveillance system can be successfully developed and implemented in a highly complex environment such as the nations’ largest public school system,” said Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman of BioReference Laboratories. “Testing is one component of the multiple mitigation steps developed by New York City, which include real time results reporting to the city situation room, closure protocols, social distancing, masks and ventilation improvements. These measures taken by the city and the teachers’ union resulted in a very low COVID-19 rate of infection within the school system for those individuals tested by BioReference. We are proud to be one of the partners that helped in this effort to have children return to school and continue to learn in a safe environment.”

On September 2, BioReference began working with New York City to COVID-19 PCR test principals, teachers and staff in preparation for a safer back-to-school environment. Prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year, BioReference tested 8,913 individuals, with an average turnaround time of less than 24 hours. 

Subsequently, BioReference and New York City expanded the school testing program to include students on October 9. Sixty-four teams visited almost 200 schools per day, having tested 209,790 individuals in more than 1,200 schools with an average turnaround time of less than 38 hours. Among the total individuals tested, 975 (0.47%) were positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 positivity rates by borough were; Manhattan: 0.37%, Brooklyn: 0.45%, Queens: 0.38%, Staten Island: 0.52% and Bronx: 0.71%. Interestingly, the rate for students and teachers, principals and staff were similar and very low (less than 1%).

About BioReference Laboratories, Inc.

BioReference provides comprehensive testing to physicians, clinics, hospitals, employers, government units, correctional institutions, and medical groups. BioReference developed and offers test services that yield high quality and accurate results, including a molecular test for helping with COVID-19 diagnosis and a serology test to help indicate possible COVID-19 exposure. The company is in network with the five largest health plans in the United States, operates a network of 11 laboratory locations, and is backed by a medical staff of more than 120 M.D., Ph.D. and other professional level clinicians and scientists. With a leading position in the areas of genetics, women’s health, maternal fetal medicine, oncology, and urology, BioReference and its specialty laboratories, GenPath and GeneDx, are advancing the course of modern medicine. For more information, visit www.bioreference.com.

About OPKO Health

OPKO is a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets by leveraging its discovery, development, and commercialization expertise and novel and proprietary technologies. For more information, visit www.opko.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), which statements may be identified by words such as “expects,” “plans,” “projects,” “will,” “may,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “should,” “intends,” “estimates,” and other words of similar meaning, including statements regarding BioReference’s testing, the availability of testing and the role and value of the information provided and its impact on decisions, as well as other non-historical statements about our expectations, beliefs or intentions regarding our business, technologies and products, financial condition, strategies or prospects. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in the OPKO Health, Inc. Annual Reports on Form 10-K filed and to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation, among other factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA.

Media Contact:
Hillary Titus, 201-406-9968