LENEXA, KS (KCTV) - Thousands of Kansas Citians are visiting local test sites every week, but the next step in monitoring the novel coronavirus is to bring testing to your home.

At Clinical Reference Laboratory in Lenexa, the robotic arms of sampling robots are busier than ever. The lab is processing thousands of tests every day, and expecting many more.

"Our volume has been increasing every single week," said Bob Thompson, the CEO of the company.

CRL is one of just a handful in the country that developed a saliva-based COVID-19 test. In August KCTV5 News reported that KU was using the lab's collection method at drive through sites as students returned to campus.

"The FDA has realized that saliva is a really good sample type for this," Thompson said. "Particularly for asymptomatic populations."

In the last week the lab received approval for home-based saliva tests that individual patients can use and return in the mail. They usually takes 1-2 days to process once received.

The kits sell for $110 on CRL's website, and in some cases may be reimbursed by insurance.

Thompson said it was important to the company to start shipping the tests before the holiday season, and in the months before a vaccine actually hits the market for widespread use.

"We wanted to create a bridge between now and then," he said. "We really need to test in this period of time."

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