Esther Babady on Developing MSK's COVID-19 Test

VIDEO | 01:05

Hear microbiologist Esther Babady describe what it was like to develop one of New York City's first COVID-19 tests.

Show transcript

Esther Babady: One of the things that became really clear early on was that without a test to actually tell us that we had COVID-19 patient in the hospital, we were essentially flying blind.

In the past, it would take us anywhere from six months to a year to take our time to develop a test.

We were feeling anxiety that we really needed to get this done.

The first test was actually really exciting.

I remember being in my office and getting the call from the lab tech to say we have a positive COVID-19 patient, so I literally ran down the stairs to go in the lab and start reviewing this result.

The excitement of not just looking at the controlled result but actually knowing that this was a, an actual patient in the hospital and just…taking it in that, OK, so this is real, this is happening — I think was, um, a big deal for us.