Labs still struggling with COVID-19 supplies CAP finds

2020 02 13 23 04 0191 Lab Scientists 400

Close to half (45%) of laboratories testing for COVID-19 have difficulties obtaining the testing supplies they need, according to a survey by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

In particular, labs reported difficulties acquiring reagents (45%) and pipette tips (30%) within the last three months. In terms of other supplies, 19% reported difficulties securing SARS-CoV-2 instruments, flocked nasopharyngeal swabs (18%), and viral transport/universal transport media (17%).

The survey comes from 680 board-certified pathologists queried from January 27 through February 11. The numbers show an improvement in supply since last summer, but the shortages still place a substantial burden on labs and require national attention to mitigate disruptions, CAP said.

In other survey results, 94% of pathologists reported their colleagues have access to the COVID-19 vaccination and 89% reported they, themselves, have been vaccinated. In terms of other staff receiving access to the vaccine, 82% of phlebotomists and 83% of laboratory testing personnel in a hospital received it. However, just 39% of testing personnel in independent laboratories have received the vaccine, CAP reports.

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