BRIDGETON, Mo. – As demand for COVID testing continues to increase, a local lab owned by a St. Louis native and former NFL player is helping underserved communities.
Quantum Labs in Bridgeton started with drug testing in late 2020. As the pandemic continued, the brunt of their workload became saturated with a different kind of testing.
“I mean our phone rings nonstop. It rings nonstop,” said Quantum Labs CEO and co-founder Sylvester Williams. “It’s just people that are looking for help and people that want for us to be a solution for them.”
COVID testing has grown from a couple hundred a day to more than 1,000 and counting. The lab has also partnered with big names like Mizzou and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, but it’s more than a business. It’s personal for Williams.
He played in the NFL for seven years. Now, he’s back home helping the communities that raised him, founding the only Black-owned C.L.I.A. certificated high complexity lab in Missouri.
“We come from these communities so our goal is to bring the most testing to the underserved communities,” said Williams. “The underserved communities suffered the most, and so it’s like we stand here in the fire. We say we’re here with you. We want to offer our services and help as much as we can.”
The lab hosts free testing events for those in the metro area alongside the Urban League, NAACP, federally funded health centers, and more.
“We will go far and we will do great things and I think people recognize that,” said Williams. “They recognize that I’m African American and my partner is African American and we have a very diverse team and they want to be a part of that and help us,” said Williams.
“If you build it, they will come, and if you build it the right way, they will come,” he added.
Their next free COVID testing event will be at St. James AME Church in north St. Louis on Jan. 13. To book an appointment, visit: https://www.quantumlabgroup.com/