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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is still handling the majority of testing for the coronavirus as it works out issues with test kits sent to states, and is taking steps to prepare for local spread of the virus, as reported This is Money on Friday.
However, Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), said only California, Nebraska and Illinois have the ability to run the tests, while other states must send them to the CDC, which means it can take 24 to 48 hours from the time a patient sample is taken to the test result.
Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, noted that the agency is working with the FDA to manage issues with test kits for use in diagnosing patients in their states of residence.
Messonnier noted that the CDC has not had any problems with the quality of tests it is using, adding that "there is no lag time for testing" at the agency.
The CDC recently said some of the testing kits sent to US states and at least 30 countries produced "inconclusive" results due to a flawed element and the agency planned to send replacement materials to make the kits work.
"We still consider it a priority to get those kits out closer to patients as soon as possible, but it is overridden by the priority to make sure the test is correct," Messonnier noted, adding that community spread of the virus is "very possible and even likely" to happen in the future.
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