The U.S. isn’t on track to open up

2. Further growth of lab-based testing will be slow

Members of the American Clinical Laboratory Association, which include commercial labs such as Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, have steadily added capacity to test patients. They’re now analyzing more than 100,000 tests each day.

But further growth at these private labs, which the Trump administration has relied on to conduct widespread screening of Americans, may be a challenge. “We’re hearing from many labs, and not just members, that shortages of test kits are limiting the ability to continue to build and expand that capacity,” ACLA President Julie Khani told POLITICO.

Part of the problem is that the FDA has authorized a variety of tests that each use a different set of instruments and supplies — and often aren’t interchangeable.

Public health labs are also hampered by scarce testing supplies. Ongoing efforts by HHS testing czar Brett Giroir to make commercial test kits available through a CDC distribution system could help labs stay stocked, said Scott Becker, CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

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