“No single manufacturer can give a laboratory enough tests to cover the entire volume they need to cover,” said Dr. Garner, who is in the process of adding a fifth type of coronavirus test to his team’s repertoire.
Shortages are so widespread that even backup options don’t always pan out.
Marilyn Freeman, who is deputy director of Virginia’s D.C.L.S. public health laboratory, said her team had been waiting months for its orders of machines that can automate coronavirus test processing, which would ease the burden on staff. Two of the devices in highest demand — the Hologic Panther and Hologic Panther Fusion, the same ultraefficient robots that take Tecan’s sought-after pipette tips — most likely won’t ship to Dr. Freeman’s lab until the fall.
What’s more, some of the biggest issues from the early days of the pandemic haven’t yet resolved. Erin Graf, who regularly clocks 80-hour weeks as the