SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Doctors and nurses have become well-known as healthcare heroes throughout the pandemic, but Tuesday, a celebration on the campus of Upstate Medical University made sure lab technicians and scientists are equally recognized.

The Onondaga County Executive issued a proclamation to mark “National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week,” and thanked the team for their two years of work.

Researchers at Upstate Medical University partnered with Quadrant Biosciences to develop what’s considered among the world’s most sensitive saliva tests to detect COVID-19, which has been used more than three million times in Central New York.

The man behind the test, Professor Frank Middleton, estimates his teams’ tests have prevented 500,000 infections, saving lives and because its more efficient pool testing, saved the federal and state governments and private insurance companies more then $200 million.

In addition to being used on all SUNY campuses and at other private colleges, the saliva test is available to the public in three locations in Onondaga County:

  • The Heritage car dealership on West Genesee Street
  • SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College
  • ShoppingTown Mall

Lab workers at Quadrant Biosciences also conduct wastewater testing as possible early detection of coronavirus outbreaks.