On February 2nd, AACC sent a letter updating Congressional leaders on the results of AACC’s latest survey of laboratories testing for COVID-19. The association has been conducting a monthly survey since May and has consistently found that labs continue to face bottlenecks for critical supplies such as test kits and reagents.
From December through January, AACC received survey responses from 41 commercial, hospital, and public health laboratories. Nearly 60% of the responding laboratories continue to encounter problems obtaining the supplies they need to perform COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Their primary obstacle remains an inability to procure test kits and reagents. Two areas where there has been significant improvement are obtaining swabs (a reduction from 62% to 13%) and personal protective equipment (PPE) (a reduction from 32% to 13%).
AACC recommends that Congress work with the federal agencies, healthcare community, and public health officials to develop a clear, transparent plan to communicate essential medical supply needs to public health officials. The association further recommends that a distribution process be developed to ensure supplies are more efficiently produced and allocated to facilities in need. AACC will continue to keep Congress and federal officials abreast of problems clinical laboratories are encountering as they seek to meet public testing needs.