Communication Date: December 27, 2021
With an expected increase in laboratory testing due to the transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and holiday-related travel and gatherings, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging laboratories with testing capacity to contact state and local health departments to coordinate surge testing.
The CAP discussed the need for surge testing in January with officials from the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services Testing and Diagnostic Task Force, and other laboratory organizations on December 27. On December 1, the first COVID-19 case attributed to Omicron was reported in the United States. Omicron has now been reported in all 50 states. The CDC is working with state and local public health officials to monitor the spread of Omicron in the United States and identified a rapid increase in infections consistent with what has been observed in other countries. Multiple large clusters of Omicron variant cases have demonstrated the rapid spread of the virus.
Due to the long lines being reported at specimen collection and drive-through testing sites, the CDC encourages laboratories that have the capacity to assist with specimen collection or to stand up drive-through testing sites to contact your local or state public health laboratory or health department.
If your laboratory is experiencing supply chain issues, please report these to the CDC at LOCS@cdc.gov or to the HHS Testing and Diagnostics Working Group (TDWG) at TDWGInfo@hhs.gov. Please also contact the CAP at email@example.com so we are aware and can further engage with government agencies, if necessary.