MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories obtains additional coronavirus testing kits

LANSING — As cases of coronavirus disease (COVID- 19) increase in the United States and internationally, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories has increased its testing supplies to test more than 300 Michiganders for the virus, more than doubling its previous testing capacity.

The MDHHS lab received additional test kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today. The kits are currently undergoing a validation process but should be ready for use by the end of the week.

The new test kits arrived following news from the CDC that testing criteria had expanded to include any persons, including healthcare workers, who have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset, or a history of travel to one of the affected geographic areas within 14 days of symptom onset. Affected areas include China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.

In addition, the MDHHS state lab is in the process of surveying hospital labs across the state to determine which labs wish to begin providing testing. A Laboratory Leadership Service Fellow has been requested from CDC to help Michigan hospitals with the validation process.

To date, there are no confirmed COVID- 19 cases in Michigan. Details: Visit Michigan.gov/ coronavirus or CDC.gov/ coronavirus. — G.G.