ACLA Designates Annual Meeting “Handshake-Free”

March 03, 2020 Categories: ACLA News, All News, Featured News, ACLA Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In light of recent concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) is encouraging attendees to go handshake-free at Wednesday’s Annual Meeting.

“As leading voices within the clinical laboratory diagnostics community, attendees recognize the importance of aligning our practices with the industry’s core commitment to public health, the driving force that brings us together each year,” said ACLA President Julie Khani.  “While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has deemed the immediate health risk from novel coronavirus to be low, designating the meeting handshake-free is an easy, practical step that underscores our commitment to the health and safety of our colleagues and communities.”

ACLA encourages all attendees to practice every day preventative measures in accordance with CDC guidelines, including:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

For more information, please visit the CDC website.

About ACLA’s COVID-19 Response Efforts

On Saturday, February 29, the FDA issued new guidance for high complexity laboratories, including commercial laboratories, to perform coronavirus testing as soon as validation is complete. ACLA members are working to develop novel tests for COVID-19, as well as supporting other ways to bolster testing capacity. Over the past several weeks, the CDC has been actively utilizing ACLA and the MOU to keep ACLA member laboratories with infectious disease expertise informed on the progression of the current outbreak, the government response, and how our member laboratories can best be prepared to support those efforts. This MOU was established as public and commercial health partners reflected on the Zika outbreak and how to strengthen communication and coordination in future health emergencies. This past summer, ACLA and several of our members also participated in a tabletop exercise at the CDC that simulated a real-life infectious disease outbreak, requiring participating organizations to put their rapid response plans to the test and identify gaps and potential solutions to guide future preparedness efforts.

About ACLA’s Annual Meeting

ACLA’s Annual Meeting convenes key policymakers and leaders from the clinical laboratory diagnostics community for presentations and discussions about the dynamic landscapes that will have significant impact on the next generation of diagnostics and laboratory tests for patients. This year’s speakers include FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA).

About The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA)

ACLA is a not-for-profit association representing the nation’s leading clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories, including national, regional, specialty, hospital, ESRD and nursing home laboratories. The clinical laboratory industry employs nearly 295,000 people directly, and generates over 117,000 additional jobs in supplier industries. Clinical laboratories are at the forefront of personalized medicine, driving diagnostic innovation and contributing more than $106 billion to the nation’s economy.

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