WASHINGTON – To address some of the confusion surrounding COVID-19 testing, AACC today launched a video series in which leading laboratory experts answer common questions about tests for the pandemic. From persistent supply shortages to the emergence of antibody tests, these videos quickly answer the questions that patients and the general public have been asking.
The videos can be viewed here: www.aacc.org/makingsense
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., testing for the virus has formed the backbone of efforts to bring the outbreak under control—and as the nationwide quarantine wears on, testing is also being touted as the key to getting the country out of lockdown. Most recently, new guidelines released by the White House in mid-April called for states to establish robust testing programs before reopening their economies. Separate from the White House guidelines, tests for COVID-19 antibodies have also garnered attention for their potential to help life return to normal by identifying people who might already be immune to the virus. However, while it’s true that testing plays an essential role, among other measures, in efforts to bring social distancing measures to an end, it’s also clear that the nation’s testing capacity still hasn’t reached the levels necessary to achieve that goal.
In the series “AACC Presents: Making Sense of Coronavirus Testing”:
- AACC President Dr. Carmen Wiley gives her take on why testing capacity remains limited, explaining that shortages of crucial testing supplies are a significant obstacle to widespread testing—and what the federal government can do to remedy this issue.
- AACC President-Elect Dr. David Grenache addresses the growing push for COVID-19 antibody testing and what we know so far about the body’s immune response to the virus. Right now, antibody tests can’t actually determine if a person is immune to COVID-19, Dr. Grenache explains, but that doesn’t mean these tests aren’t vital for many other purposes.
- Additionally, the series includes an overview from Dr. Wiley of PCR testing, which is the most common type of test for COVID-19 and the one that patients are currently most likely to encounter.
“Americans understandably have many pressing questions about coronavirus testing, ranging from why testing capacity is still limited to what the difference is between the various types of coronavirus tests,” said Dr. Wiley. “With these videos, we aim to provide the general public with clear, succinct answers on these topics. We hope that these videos will help people to stay abreast of the rapidly evolving coronavirus testing landscape, while also helping patients and their loved ones make informed decisions when seeking to get tested for this illness.”
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit www.aacc.org.