As number of confirmed coronavirus cases go up, so do concerns for testing kits in D.C region

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise so do some concerns for the number of testing kits available.

While U.S. health officials are working toward significantly ramping up testing for COVID-19, Director, David Goodfriend with the Loudoun County Health Department said there aren’t enough kits available at the state and local level but that several private laboratories are able to now perform testing while limiting the number of kits they can send out for specimen collection.

“Because the availability of testing kits at the lab and specimen collection kits at doctors' offices are limited, many of them are only able to test the highest risk individuals, people who are contacts of known cases, people who have come back from high risk locations,” said Goodfriend. “So it limits our ability to find those people that appear to be lower risk but it may turn out to be a case of person to person transmission in our community.”

FOX 5 also checked in with health officials within the District and Richard Jordan with the Department of Forensic Sciences said that the department currently has two kits that were sent to them by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He said the department will need to continue ordering  supplies in order to continue the testing. 

The department could test 50 people per day he said, but that they are not anywhere near that number.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was also heard Thursday talking about testing kits, touching on the rampant production nationwide but added that this is an issue at the state level and will continue to be an issue as long as the demand goes up.