COVID Testing

March 30, 2020

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Anchor lead: What is the status of testing for COVID-19? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Testing for the coronavirus continues to be of paramount importance in helping contain the pandemic, with new testing coming online nationally every day. Lisa Maragakis, director of infection control at Johns Hopkins Hospital, applauds this development.

Maragakis: We are very fortunate at Johns Hopkins Medicine to have a laboratory that has provided us with in house capacity of testing for the corona virus. However this capacity remains limited, and we must prioritize it to those who are at the highest risk. Those of us with potential exposures outside of the workplace will be contacted by public health authorities and given further instructions about the need for potential self-isolation or quarantine.  :28

Maragakis notes that all testing options at the moment rely on a technique called polymerase chain reaction or PCR, which makes many copies of the virus’s genetic material so it can be detected. Additional testing methods may be available soon. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey. 

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