PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — One local company is stepping up to provide COVID-19 tests for the State.
Reditus Labs in Pekin is creating COVID-19 testing kits for medical centers across the state. Once the kits are collected, they’re brought back to the lab to be processed.
For the last 10 days, Reditus Labs have been putting together face shields and creating up to 2,000 COVID-19 tests per day.
“We’re looking to try to bring on another set of machines, potentially. But a lot of this too is try to continue our current business model which was not COVID testing,” said Reditus’ CEO Dr. Aaron Rossi.
The company has had to completely change the way it does business.
It’s known for making foot orthotic and AFO braces, as well as custom diabetic inserts.
Rossi says taking on this challenge has helped the work force in Pekin, hiring on 35 new employees in the last two days, and looking to hire 35 more.
“Hospitals have slowed down, and they’re trying to save money and conserve their revenues as well,” Dr. Rossi said.
Pekin Mayor Mark Luft says Pekin City Council gave Dr. Rossi’s company a $100,000 loan when he started to create the COVID-19 tests. Luft says it’s because they saw the need and knew action needed to be taken.
“I made one phone call to the council, before I could get the whole story out, there was thumbs up from all of them,” Luft said.
Kela Rodeffer walked us through the COVID-19 testing lab on Tuesday. Explaining the process of analyzing the tests, which takes between four to five hours.
“You can see that they’re transferring the sample that comes in the individual tubes, into the individual wells over here with an instrument called a pipe head,” Rodeffer said.
384 samples get placed into a PCR plate, then are put into a machine called the ‘Analyzer.’
“When the light shines through it indicates the COVID virus is present,” Rodeffer said.
She says they’ve needed a lot of backup to get these test kits created and the tests processed.
“We’ve been really fortunate to have a cooperative agreement with UnityPoint Health Methodist, and they’ve supplied us with these lab techs here who are really skilled in PCR and it makes the job so much easier,” Rodeffer said.
Reditus is looking to hire more people over the next couple of days, currently, they make up to 2,000 tests per day. And they’re looking to make more if the need is there.