Testing

Coronavirus Testing Labs Again Lack Key Supplies

“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

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Testing Backlogs May Cloud the True Spread of the Coronavirus

To speed turnaround times, Dr. Collins said, health officials are pushing for more point-of-care testing — “on the spot” tests designed to be done rapidly and easily, without the need for specialized laboratory equipment or personnel.

Some of these tests could be completed in a doctor’s office, or perhaps even at home, in under an hour. Simple, speedy tests could prove to be a boon for institutions and communities that care for large numbers of vulnerable people, such as nursing homes. They could also help health workers bring testing supplies to populations that have often been denied access to testing and reliable health care, including those marginalized by race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

A handful of point-of-care tests have been greenlighted for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.

“We need to invest a lot of money, and the government is willing to do so, in scaling those up,”

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Trump Administration Aims to Block New Funding for Coronavirus Testing and Tracing

The Trump administration has balked at providing billions of dollars to fund coronavirus testing and shore up federal health agencies as the virus surges across the country, complicating efforts to reach agreement on the next round of pandemic aid.

Senate Republicans had drafted a proposal that would allocate $25 billion in grants to states for conducting testing and contact tracing, as well as about $10 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and about $15 billion for the National Institutes of Health, according to a person familiar with the tentative plans, who cautioned that the final dollar figures remained in flux. They had also proposed providing $5.5 billion to the State Department and $20 billion to the Pentagon to help counter the virus outbreak and potentially distribute a vaccine at home and abroad.

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Live Coronavirus Updates: Testing Demand in U.S. Soars

Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city, will be locked down for six weeks after a record number of daily coronavirus cases, officials said on Tuesday.

The state of Victoria reported 191 new cases on Tuesday, an “unsustainably” high number, said Daniel Andrews, the state’s premier. Most of the cases were in Melbourne, a city of 4.9 million people and the capital of Victoria.

“Ultimately we have to take this as seriously as we take bushfire,” Mr. Andrews said. “This is binary. It is life and death.”

Starting late Wednesday night, residents will be allowed to leave their homes only for essential work, shopping and exercise. Another regional area, Mitchell Shire, will also be locked down.

Australia has had a comparatively small outbreak, with fewer than 8,600 reported cases and only 106 deaths. But emerging hot spots in Melbourne in recent weeks have alarmed officials, who locked down 300,000 people in suburban

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