In addition to its Cologuard services, Exact Sciences in Madison is taking on a new function, running tests for COVID-19.

Area companies and health systems are partnering with the state to meet the increased demand for coronavirus testing.

Before Monday, the State Hygiene Lab and the Milwaukee Public Health Lab led the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network in testing, but Exact Sciences CEO Kevin Conroy said it was unrealistic to expect them to be able to keep up with the need.

“Like most of America, we expected normal life would continue,” Conroy said. “Obviously, there’s nothing normal about life now, so we just want to do our part.”

The cancer detection company is doing so by using its equipment to identify the virus. Employees, still practicing social distancing, began Monday.

“We are taking this from our Cologuard capacity, helping to bring it up for COVID capacity,” Conroy said.

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