How Alaska set up a gold standard COVID testing operation

im
Credit: Wall Street Journal

As the coronavirus pandemic surged across the U.S. this spring, Alaska faced a raft of unique obstacles. Despite the hurdles, Alaska was able to carry out what proved to be a robust testing program.

Alaska stands out as an example of a state that, in the absence of a centralized testing operation by the federal government, managed to cobble together a program that helped state and tribal officials track the outbreak. Spurred by its tragic experience [with the Spanish flu] a century ago, Alaska scrambled to stand up its testing platform even before there were signs the virus was spreading in the state.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Early on, as the pandemic began spreading across the country, it had purchased testing kits from an out-of-state lab that had gone unused. The kits were deployed to the main airport in Anchorage. The Alaska Native Medical Center, one of the state’s largest hospitals, installed a high-throughput testing machine. The state also deployed more rapid-test supplies to rural communities and contracted with an out-of-state lab to process airport tests.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Coronavirus testing, treatment key to ending national lockdowns

The steps helped Alaska avoid the sweeping breakdown in testing that plagued a number of other states in late June and July, Mr. Cutchins says. By having a more diverse testing regime—a combination of state and tribal labs, rapid tests and out-of-state capacity, Alaska was less vulnerable to supply-chain issues or mechanical failures, he says.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend