Pence Says Restrictions For Who Can Get Tested Are Lifted, But Can Supply Really Keep Up With Demand?
In response to rising criticism about testing access and delays, Vice President Mike Pence said that any American can get tested. But right now the United States doesn't actually have the capacity to test millions--and the ability to do so could still be weeks away.
The New York Times:
All Federal Limits On Testing Will Be Lifted, Pence Says.
Vice President Mike Pence said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was lifting all restrictions on testing for coronavirus, and would be releasing new guidelines to fast-track testing for people who fear they have the virus, even if they are displaying mild symptoms. “Today we will issue new guidance from the C.D.C. that will make it clear that any American can be tested, no restrictions, subject to doctor’s orders,” Mr. Pence told reporters at the White House. (3/3)
The Associated Press:
Frustration Rising Over Lack Of Access To Coronavirus Tests
Delays and missteps have put the U.S. behind other nations conducting thousands of tests. The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn, responded that the FDA has been working with a private company to get as many as 2,500 test kits out to labs by the end of the week. Each kit should allow a lab to run about 500 tests, he said. That would work out to 1.25 million tests. But when senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee pressed on whether the government will meet its self-imposed deadline, health officials avoided making hard promises. (Alonso-Zaldivar and Stobbe, 3/3)
The Washington Post:
Pence Says Americans Can Get Coronavirus Tests
“When I talked to some state officials, there was a sense that the tests would not be administered to people that were mildly symptomatic,” Vice President Pence told reporters in an off-camera White House briefing. “We’re issuing clear guidance that subject to doctors’ orders, any American can be tested.” Pence’s comments perplexed some public health officials, as physicians already have discretion to order testing. The announcement also raised questions about whether the government can rapidly accelerate the production of testing kits, as well as how much patients will ultimately have to pay for getting tested. (Kim, Sacchetti and Dennis, 3/3)
The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Coronavirus Cases Rise; First Deaths Earlier Than Officials Realized
Some Democratic lawmakers have expressed frustration the administration isn’t moving faster. Washington Sen. Patty Murray said Mr. Pence and other administration officials were unable to tell her and other lawmakers in a meeting Tuesday when “point-of-contact” tests are going to be available, or what people who fear they have been infected can do between now and then. The point-of-contact tests, which allow a patient to go to their doctor and be tested as they are for flu or strep throat, won’t be available for months, she said. “When I’m talking to families who have sick family members today, and I am, they seriously are calling their doctor who is telling them, ‘We don’t have [tests] available, call your county health officials.’ And they call them. They’re told to call a state officials. Nobody has the test,” Ms. Murray said. (Carlton, Calfas and Yang, 3/3)
CDC Opens Up Coronavirus Testing, Pence Says
The Trump administration in recent days has faced criticism for delays in testing because of earlier problems with its diagnostic tests. Pence said the U.S. plans to send 2,500 new test kits out by the end of the week, which he claimed can test 1.5 million samples. Public health labs say patients typically require at least two samples. Pence also said private companies are expected to dramatically boost the amount of test kits on the market, though experts question whether there are enough laboratories to test a large surge of samples. (Ehley and McGraw, 3/3)
The New York Times:
Estimates Fall Short Of F.D.A.’s Pledge For 1 Million Coronavirus Tests
Does the United States really have the capacity to escalate its efforts and produce one million coronavirus tests by the end of this week, as the head of the Food and Drug Administration promised on Monday during a White House briefing? The figure includes orders for commercial tests that companies say are still weeks away from approval, and public health laboratories say their capacities don’t come close to that. (Thomas and Sheikh, 3/3)
Widespread Coronavirus Testing Could Still Be Weeks Away
It could be weeks before the United States can meet the demand for coronavirus testing because doctors, hospitals and some public health labs say they aren’t set up yet to do the tests. Ratcheting up the country’s ability to detect the disease is crucial to understand how the coronavirus — now confirmed in at least 12 states — is spreading. But testing so far has been severely limited by problems with a diagnostic test developed by CDC. (Lim and Cancryn, 3/3)
Anyone Can Be Tested For COVID-19, Subject To A Doctor's Orders: Pence
Right now, state and local public health labs have the capacity to test 15,000 people, according to the FDA, but they are working to rapidly expand the ability to process tests in public and private labs by the end of the week. One company, Integrated DNA Technologies, is manufacturing the COVID-19 test both for CDC to distribute to public health labs and commercially for private and clinical labs. FDA says the company expects to distribute 2,500 test kits by the end of the week, each including 500 tests. (Ebbs, 3/3)
The Washington Post:
Should I Get Tested For Coronavirus? Here’s When To Stay Home, Or To See A Doctor.
By now, you may have memorized some of the most common symptoms of coronavirus: fever, cough and a runny nose. In other words, many of the same symptoms as the common cold or the flu. But as the coronavirus outbreak progresses, experts say it’s increasingly likely that you might have the new illness. “This is much more widely spread than people realize,” said Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “The events in Washington state really show that this has established itself in our communities and will continue to do so.” (Iati, 3/3)
How And When You Should Be Tested For The Coronavirus
Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday said that any American, with a doctor's order, can now be tested for coronavirus. The move appears to expand criteria that had previously limited testing to patients who had been hospitalized, absent certain extenuating circumstances such as contact with a coronavirus patient. (Nedelman and Azad, 3/4)
The Associated Press:
Army Beginning Increased Virus Screening For New Recruits
The U.S. Army on Tuesday began increased health screenings for all new soldier recruits arriving at the four basic training centers around the country in order to detect the new coronavirus, a senior commander said. Army Gen. Paul Funk, head of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, said personnel at the bases spent Monday rehearsing the new screening and learning how to spot symptoms and interview recruits. (3/3)