Nearly 1 Million Americans Could Be Tested By End Of Week, A Sharp Course-Correction From CDC’s Earlier Stumbles
The Trump administration and the CDC face criticism that its testing strategy and other decisions in the early days of the outbreak exacerbated the spread of the virus within the states. Now, the government is calling on private companies and academic labs to develop their own tests.
The New York Times:
Close To A Million Could Be Tested For The Coronavirus This Week, Health Official Says
The Trump administration said on Monday that nearly a million tests could be administered for the coronavirus in the United States by the end of this week, a significant escalation of screening as the American death toll reached six and U.S. infections topped 100. Private companies and academic laboratories have been pulled in to develop and validate their own coronavirus tests, a move to get around a government bottleneck after a halting start, and to widen the range and number of Americans screened for the virus, Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Monday at a White House briefing. (Weiland and Cochrane, 3/2)
FDA Official Expects 1M Coronavirus Tests To Be Available By Week's End
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn told reporters at the White House that new regulatory guidance will allow academic centers and private companies to more quickly develop and verify their own tests for public use. (Samuels and Hellmann, 3/2)
The New York Times:
As Coronavirus Numbers Rise, C.D.C. Testing Comes Under Fire
The coronavirus has found a crack in the nation’s public health armor, and it is not one that scientists foresaw: diagnostic testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention botched its first attempt to mass produce a diagnostic test kit, a discovery made only after officials had shipped hundreds of kits to state laboratories. A promised replacement took several weeks, and still did not permit state and local laboratories to make final diagnoses. And the C.D.C. essentially ensured that Americans would be tested in very few numbers by imposing stringent and narrow criteria, critics say. (Rabin, Sheikh and Thomas, 3/2)
Azar In The Crosshairs For Delays In Virus Tests
Even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention takes blame for testing delays that may have led to hundreds of Americans being infected with the coronavirus, officials inside the health agency and the White House are increasingly pointing the finger at one leader: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who they say failed to coordinate the response, as agency chiefs waited for instructions that came too late and other deputies were largely cut out of the process. (Diamond and Cancryn, 3/2)
Coronavirus Testing: What To Know As It Becomes Available Across The U.S.
The most common initial symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, a dry cough and shortness of breath. Call your doctor or your local health department if you believe you might have the virus, and you'll be advised of the best course of action. It's important to remember that not everyone who gets infected gets sick and symptomatic. Also, it's flu season, so lots of people with flu-like symptoms have just that: the flu. (Wamsley, 3/2)
Co-Diagnostics Now Selling Coronavirus Test In U.S.
Medical testing company Co-Diagnostics said Monday that its coronavirus test kits are now available for sale to laboratories in the U.S., an announcement that sent its stock soaring nearly 35%. The tests from Co-Diagnostics, which has also developed screening technology for Zika and tuberculosis, said the tests are available for purchase by labs in the U.S. that are certified under Food and Drug Administration guidelines called the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). (Cerullo, 3/2)
The Washington Post:
Efforts To Control Coronavirus May Be Hurt By Worries About Medical Bills, Lost Pay
The race to curb the spread of the new coronavirus could be thwarted by Americans fearful of big medical bills if they get tested, low-income workers who lose pay if they take time off when sick, and similar dilemmas that leave the United States more vulnerable to the epidemic than countries with universal health coverage and sturdier safety nets. As the test for the virus becomes more widely available, health-care experts predict that some people with flu-like illnesses — or those who may have been exposed — will avoid finding out whether they have been infected because they are uninsured or have health plans that saddle them with much of the cost of their care. (Goldstein, 3/2)