At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, there are numerous mathematical models that are attempting to predict what happens moving forward. We all want to know how long the virus will last. How long do we need to practice social distancing? Are we doing enough? Will laboratories be able to catch up with the testing demand? And there are countless other concerns and worries surrounding the rapid progression of COVID-19.
The number of people being tested for COVID-19 is limited by national shortages in tests and long waits for results. However, laboratories across the U.S. are quickly ramping up their ability to collect, process, and test for COVID-19. The pace of new development is impressive now that testing has moved beyond the CDC and into public health, reference, hospital, and commercial laboratories. Laboratories are making extraordinary efforts to meet the surge demand for the volume of testing that is needed.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 continues to spread across the country at an alarming rate. As of March 18, there were 7,323 confirmed cases and 115 deaths in the U.S. As a result, our country faces unprecedented closings and tremendous strain on our healthcare systems, businesses, and our overall economy.
Testing for the respiratory illness COVID-19 and the associated SARS-CoV-2 virus has gotten off to a rocky start and continues to see struggles related to the complexity of testing, availability of resources, and a need for clear communication. However, laboratories across the U.S., with our Public Health Laboratories (PHLs) taking the lead, are working diligently to collect and test for COVID-19 in a safe, accurate, and rapid manner to slow the spread of the virus.
As the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) makes its way across the globe, our healthcare system is ramping up to plan, risk assess, and manage patient care during this global healthcare crisis. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
At Orchard Software, we are proud to work with laboratories that are working to rapidly diagnose and contain the spread of the disease. This is the first of a COVID-19 blog post series to help add some clarity to the situation.