April 22, 2020

Obstacles Remain As Indiana Tries To Reach Testing Goal

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The state is urging health care providers to order tests for anyone who is symptomatic for COVID-19. But State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says one challenge is identifying sites statewide where those tests can be administered.  - Justin Hicks/IPB News

The state is urging health care providers to order tests for anyone who is symptomatic for COVID-19. But State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says one challenge is identifying sites statewide where those tests can be administered.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says there are enough labs up and running across Indiana to do the number of necessary COVID-19 tests the state is aiming for – 6,300 a day.

But Box says there are still obstacles to actually conducting those tests.

The state is urging health care providers to order tests for anyone who is symptomatic for COVID-19. But Box says one challenge is identifying sites statewide where those tests can be administered.

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“Because it is something that does still require usually a nasopharyngeal swab, which usually requires the personal protective equipment to be able to do that testing,” Box says.

A lack of those swabs she mentions are another issue – Box says the state has been trying to buy more swabs and a special solution called “viral transport media” for the tests.

“The federal government has taken over the supply of a lot of this," Box says. "It’s not a question of money – I have plenty of money. If I can find them, I buy them and will buy them.”

As of Wednesday, the most COVID-19 tests run in a single day in Indiana was about 3,300.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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