Administering coronavirus tests requires time and supplies that are already running out. But aggressive testing has proven to be the best way to track and isolate the disease, stopping its spread. The best path forward depends on where you are.
"It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube."
The FDA's strict guidance on test confirmations is one of several obstacles that has slowed the federal government's response to COVID-19. The FDA could change its rules to speed things up, but hasn't.
An outbreak would demand peak performance from America's medical professionals — especially in hospitals. But many of the facilities that may be on the front lines have well-documented histories of failing to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.