Chaos at California hospitals due to shortage of coronavirus tests

Coronavirus
A researcher works in a lab that is developing a test for the coronavirus in Nutley, New Jersey on Feb. 28, 2020. (Kena Betancur / Getty Images)

A researcher works in a lab that is developing a test for the coronavirus in Nutley, New Jersey on Feb. 28, 2020. (Kena Betancur / Getty Images)

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As COVID-19 cases spike, the test kits needed to help stem the spread of the disease remain in short supply, with healthcare workers across the state reporting widespread failings in the federal government’s response to the growing crisis.

Federal officials said nearly 1 million tests were expected to be available by the end of this week. But in California, one of the country’s hardest-hit regions with 60 cases, the total testing capacity is limited to only 7,400 through the weekend, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The inability to test widely and swiftly for the novel coronavirus has impeded the country’s ability to beat back the spread of the virus, experts say. Without testing, public health officials don’t know where the virus is spreading and where to target efforts to contain it. Twelve Americans have been killed so far by the disease.

The shortage of test kits is creating chaos for doctors and nurses as their triage efforts are complicated by testing restrictions and shortfalls.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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