AACC is engaging the White House Coronavirus Task Force and other federal officials to address persistent shortages of laboratory supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). On July 8th, the association joined with several other major laboratory organizations informing Vice President Mike Pence, chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, of this ongoing problem. The groups noted that that many laboratories are unable to acquire the supplies needed to meet the demand for testing and requested greater transparency about the federal supply allocation. Process. Separately, AACC sought and obtained a list of state contacts responsible for distributing federal supplies. The association has made the list available to members and shared it with the other laboratory associations.
On July 28th, AACC sent another letter, updating the White House Coronavirus Taskforce on the results of the association’s most recent survey of laboratories offering COVID-19 testing. The findings indicate that almost half of responding laboratories still cannot obtain the supplies necessary to run SARS-CoV-2 tests. Although the percentage of labs reporting problems obtaining supplies decreased from 58 percent in May to 46 percent in early July, persistent shortages have negatively affected turn-around times for results, with the number of labs reporting processing times greater than one week increasing to 25 percent in July from 21 percent in May.
AACC has held several conference calls with Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services and Director of Diagnostic Testing for the White House Coronavirus Taskforce to discuss improving coordination between the government and laboratory community to alleviate supply shortage issues. The association was also invited to join the new HHS National Testing Implementation Forum to work with the government in identifying mechanisms for addressing this problem. AACC will continue to work with its laboratory partners and federal officials to resolve the supply chain issues impeding the ability of laboratories to meet patient testing needs.