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Recent CLN Articles

A Path Forward for SARS-CoV-2 Testing

JUNE.18.2020 – SARS-CoV-2 testing options that screen for active illness or past infection have expanded rapidly over the last few months. As institutions craft guidelines on optimizing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic tests and serology antibody tests, some labs have been developing their own testing and result reporting algorithms.

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Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation in COVID-19—Insights From the Front Lines

JUNE.4.2020 – Evidence is mounting that seriously ill COVID-19 patients develop coagulation problems, giving rise to disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). This alarming trend, leading to strokes and death even among young people, raises questions over the need to treat ICU patients with anticoagulants—and which lab tests most effectively target DIC and monitor bleeding risk from these medications.

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Laboratories Are Rising to the COVID-19 Challenge

JUNE.1.2020 – With the rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus across the world, hospital laboratories had no choice but to respond as quickly as possible. In facing the pandemic, clinical laboratorians said a renewed sense of teamwork inside their labs, and outside with clinicians and manufacturers, continues to drive their spirited response to the crisis.

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SARS-CoV-2 Testing on AACC Artery—Online Resource for the Global Laboratory Community

MAY.21.2020 – With researchers and clinicians alike continuously learning about SARS-CoV-2, ongoing dialogue among professionals about these issues and more has been crucial. The global lab community has turned time and time again to the SARS-CoV-2 Testing Community on AACC Artery, available to AACC members and other interested parties after a simple registration.

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Diabetes Management in the Time of COVID-19

MAY.21.2020 – Individuals with diabetes are at increased risk for COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As federal officials loosen restrictions on in-hospital use of personal glucose meters by COVID patients, clinical labs and institutions can take critical steps to support patients with diabetes or metabolic disease in the hospital setting.

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The Great COVID-19 Serology Race

MAY.21.2020 – With the notion that serology tests could help identify individuals with past COVID-19 infections and support community surveillance efforts, the Food and Drug Administration first allowed serology tests for SARS-CoV-2 to come to market in March. Developers responded in droves.

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Factors in Implementing SARS-CoV-2 Serology Tests

MAY.7.2020 – Serology tests that detect SARS-CoV-2 virus antibodies (immunoglobulin A/G/M) have proliferated as society looks for ways to relax quarantine restrictions. Such tests might help track community spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus and determine whether plasma donated by patients who have recovered from COVID-19 could help still sick patients recover.

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Key Biomarkers in Managing COVID-19

APR.16.2020 – Common laboratory values may provide key insights into patients with COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as the viral infection itself.

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The Race to Bring SARS-CoV-2 Tests Online

APR.16.2020 – Heeding the emergency call by federal regulators to rapidly develop and distribute tests for 2019-novel-coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, diagnostic manufacturers and clinical labs have taken unprecedented steps, surmounting delays and challenges to meet the demands of a global outbreak modern history has never seen.

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Lab Preparedness During the COVID-19 Pandemic

APR.2.2020 – The past few months have been a whirlwind of news about, and activities in response to, the emergence and spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. As this pandemic unfolds, laboratory personnel are key to the efforts to halt the virus’s spread and treat patients.

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How Labs in the U.S. Are Responding to COVID-19

MAR.18.2020 – With testing in the global spotlight, two laboratorians share their stories of bringing up testing as regulatory hurdles, shortages of test components, and a rapidly expanding pandemic stressed laboratories unlike anything before.

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In The News

England Begins Weekly “No-swab” Testing

JUNE.22.2020 – The British government expects weekly coronavirus testing regime using a “no-swab” saliva test to result in a simpler and quicker way to detect outbreaks of the virus. Experts hope the at-home tests will be able to pick up virus cases earlier than current testing methods (Reuters).

Errors In Washington State’s COVID-19 Numbers

JUNE.17.2020 – Washington state has been reporting incorrect COVID-19 testing numbers for eight weeks by overcounting the number of people who have tested negative. The state dashboard was supposed to display negative molecular tests, but accidentally also included negative antibody tests (The Seattle Times).

Insurance Companies Hesitate on COVID-19 Testing

JUNE.16.2020 – Health insurers are tallying up the potential cost of expanding both diagnostic and antibody testing, seen as a critically important component of safely reopening businesses across the country. In pushing back an anticipated $15 billion in U.S. COVID-19 test spending, the industry draws lines between what they deem as medically necessary tests, and those done for research or return-to-work purposes (Reuters).

America’s Health Care System

JUNE.16.2020 – How can a simple coronavirus test cost $100 in one lab and 2,200 percent more in another? First, most medical care in the United States costs double or triple what it would in a peer country. Second, each doctor’s office and hospital set its own charges for care causing price variation across the country (The New York Times).

Health Insurance Could Limit Patient Testing

JUNE.10.2020 – Some health insurers are only willing to cover coronavirus tests that are deemed "medically necessary" and have been ordered by a doctor. In some cases, they explicitly exclude the types of regular surveillance testing that experts say is so important (Axios).

Companies Develop Local Testing Kits as New York Begins to Reopen

JUNE.10.2020 – Two New York City companies and one college are on track to deliver a supply of 100,000 locally made coronavirus test kits a week by the end of June, according to the New York City Economic Development Corp., which is coordinating the effort (The Wall Street Journal).

Health Experts Remain Cautious About Antibody Testing

JUNE.10.2020 – Doctors and public-health authorities are hesitant to recommend antibody testing for COVID-19 patients as evidence shows that the reliability of the tests is a matter of probability and could result in false positives (The Wall Street Journal).

Cautious Employers Ask Congress for Answers

JUNE.2.2020 – Worried employers are asking Congress to give them broad legal protections in case workers or customers get Covid-19. Many blame the Trump administration for not answering key questions like when or how often to test workers or whether there should be a blanket testing policy for job seekers (Politico).

At-home Testing Leads to Questions

JUNE.2.2020 – The FDA has authorized the emergency use of six coronavirus at-home collection kits, yet experts worry about the accuracy of the results generated by the at-home tests, costs that insurers often don’t cover, and other factors that could limit use (The Wall Street Journal).

New CDC Guidelines Reveal Downsides of Antibody Testing

MAY.28.2020 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines warning that antibody test results can have high false positive rates and should not be used to make decisions about returning people to work, schools, dorms or other places where people congregate. Once hailed as a solution, the tests now seem more likely to add chaos and uncertainty to a situation already fraught with anxiety, according to some experts. (Kaiser Health News).

Researchers are Preparing for a Second Wave of COVID-19 With Genome Sequencing

MAY.27.2020 – Whole-genome sequencing has given researchers the ability to closely monitor COVID-19 outbreaks in their countries and pinpoint when community transmission occurred. As a second wave is expected, researchers say that genomics will be crucial to quickly track and control a future outbreak (Nature).

False Statistics as the U.S. Begins to Reopen

MAY.20.2020 – As the U.S. begins lifting lockdown requirements, some states are being accused of mishandling statistics and giving the impression that the virus is more under control than it actually is (AP News).

Rural Geographical Areas With No Testing Sites at Risk for Outbreak

MAY.20.2020 – A recent report by health software company, Castlight, showed a high number of U.S. counties that do not have coronavirus testing sites, leaving residents vulnerable to undetected coronavirus outbreaks (Axios).

Reopening Leads to a Rise In Lab Testing Volumes

MAY.19.2020 – Lab management groups reveal that in the last three weeks they have seen a steady uptick in test volumes among their clients, suggesting that the industry, or at least parts of it, could be moving toward a recovery (Modern Healthcare).

CDC Hopes to Reveal Antibody Evolvement and the Future of COVID-19

MAY.18.2020 – A study from the CDC, expected to launch this summer, will test samples from blood donors in 25 metropolitan areas for antibodies created when the immune system fights the coronavirus. The study will expand the scope and time frame of the virus to see how antibodies evolve over time (Reuters).

U.S. Employers Stray From Antibody Testing

MAY.15.2020 – After the American Medical Association cautioned that antibody tests do not determine an individual’s immunity, a survey revealed that many employers plan to rely on face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and diagnostic tests for their employees with symptoms (Reuters).

U.K. Researchers Develop Study to Understand How Human Genomes Can Affect COVID-19 Severity

MAY.14.2020 – Researchers from Genomics England and the Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care consortium are working to analyze human genome sequencing data to help provide new insights into the impact of genetic makeup on whether a patient will likely suffer only mild COVID-19 symptoms, or whether they are at risk of progressing to severe disease that requires hospitalization (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News).

How Genetics May Play a Role in COVID-19 Diagnosis

MAY.13.2020 – 23andMe, a DNA genetic testing and analysis company will offer free genetic testing to COVID-19 patients to better understand why some get sick and others show no symptoms. Scientists hope to find a gene that strongly influences, or even determines, how badly people are affected by the coronavirus (MIT Technology Review).

NIH Director Urges Senate to Provide Better Technology

MAY.7.2020 – Senior U.S. health official Francis Collins told a Senate hearing on Thursday that the country needs better diagnostic testing technology to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that existing testing technology still relies on sending samples to labs for results, and new technologies must be developed to deliver tests that rapidly deliver results on site and be widely distributed (Reuters).

Too Much Data?

MAY.7.2020 – The mix of approaches and standards in collecting COVID-19 testing data is causing delays in the U.S. response to the pandemic. Without a uniform, efficient pipeline for aggregating and reporting data, the U.S. lacks the up-to-date information that would help focus efforts, causing experts to spend unnecessary resources and time reconciling irregularities and disparities in the numbers (MIT Technology Review).

A Study of Antibodies

MAY.7.2020 – A recent study of COVID-19 patients in China brings much-needed clarity, along with renewed enthusiasm, to efforts to develop and implement widescale antibody testing. However, more research is needed to determine if people infected with SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that may protect them from re-infection (NIH Directors Blog).

Mixed Results Lead to Uncertain Diagnoses

MAY.5.2020 – The contradicting results from testing has left many patients uncertain of their diagnosis. After four different tests and mixed results, a COVID-19 patient is unsure of whether he ever had the virus to begin with, proving the need for more accurate testing (Bloomberg).

Scientists Place Hope in Crispr

MAY.5.2020 – A team of scientists believe that a gene-editing technology known as Crispr could provide a new testing solution for COVID-19. Using Crispr, the scientists have developed a prototype for a test that would not only be inexpensive but deliver results as quick as a pregnancy test (The New York Times).

AACC COVID-19 Resource Center

All of AACC’s education and advocacy resources, the AACC COVID-19 Testing Directory, and more.

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