ACLA President Julie Khani Outlines Key Challenges Facing Testing Capacity
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, ACLA President Julie Khani released the following statement:
“One month ago today, the FDA cleared the regulatory barriers preventing commercial labs from performing COVID-19 testing. Since then, ACLA member laboratories have steadily increased COVID-19 testing capacity each week. In total, ACLA members have performed approximately 650,000 COVID-19 tests to date, including 84,000 tests completed just yesterday. We currently have six ACLA members testing for COVID-19, and other members are working to bring additional tests online.
Although ACLA members are rapidly expanding testing capacity nationwide, demand for testing is also growing significantly each day. As labs continue to extend resources to expand capacity, the most immediate action we can all take is to prioritize who gets tested. ACLA greatly appreciates recent efforts by the federal government to reinforce clear guidelines to ensure that testing remains readily available for those who need it most. It is essential that doctors and hospitals order COVID-19 tests in accordance with the CDC recommendations and adhere to these guidelines when identifying samples to be prioritized.
This crisis demands the full force of the clinical laboratory industry. We’re in uncharted territory, and our ability to make headway against this pandemic hinges on the availability of testing. In order to continue to increase capacity, all laboratories must have predictable and consistent access to swabs, personal protective equipment, test kits, reagents and other supplies necessary for testing. We are also working closely with our manufacturing partners who produce the high-throughput platforms that are essential to further expand testing capacity. For laboratories processing thousands of specimens a day, having additional platforms available can help boost daily capacity, a shared goal for our industry and our public health partners.
We must remain proactive in response to these anticipated challenges. Any constriction or disruption in the supply chain could suddenly create a bottle neck, and we continue to work closely with the administration to address the obstacles we face.”
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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.