12/27/2021: Lab Advisory: Increased Testing for SARS-CoV-2

CDC's Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS)

Audience: Individuals Performing COVID-19 Testing

Level: Laboratory Advisory

There is an expected increase in laboratory testing due to the transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and holiday-related travel and gatherings. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging laboratories with testing capacity to contact state and local health departments to coordinate surge testing.

On December 1, 2021, the first COVID-19 case attributed to Omicron was reported in the United States. Omicron has now been reported in all 50 states. CDC has been working with state and local public health officials to monitor the spread of Omicron in the United States and has identified a rapid increase in infections consistent with what has been observed in other countries. Multiple large clusters of Omicron variant cases have demonstrated the rapid spread of the virus.

Due to the long lines being reported at specimen collection and drive-through testing sites, CDC encourages laboratories that have the capacity to assist with specimen collection or to stand up drive-through testing sites to contact your local or state public health laboratory or health department.

If you are experiencing supply chain issues, please report these to CDC at LOCS@cdc.gov or to the HHS Testing and Diagnostics Working Group (TDWG) at TDWGInfo@hhs.gov.

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Thank you,

The Laboratory Outreach Communication System

Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS) | Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS)

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)