One of the major challenges that has plagued the U.S. in the fight against COVID-19 has been testing – specifically, access to and availability of test kits. While there are some who believe that if we don’t test, we won’t have any cases, the fact is that the more accurate information we have, the better equipped governments and businesses will be to take appropriate measures to reduce spreading of the virus.
Now, more than, ever, availability of testing is critical, as we’re seeing the number of confirmed cases continue to rise as activity increases. Testing will be an important part of ensuring safety in workplaces and public areas.
In an effort to increase testing capacity, Enzo Biochem is working with New York’s Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN NY) to provide COVID-19 test kits at a third of the network’s pharmacies across the state. CPESN NY is the state’s division of the larger, national pharmacy network.
Thanks to the program, state residents will have access to testing at 55 independent pharmacies, with test results available within 2-3 days from sample collection. The pharmacies in the program will also be available to provide information and guidance, including next steps for anyone with testing positive.
Enzo is already working with other organizations in New York through its School and Institution Testing (SIT) program, as well as to nursing homes through a collaboration with state organizations. It has also provided both blood draw and nasal swap test kits to healthcare facilities, like AFC Urgent Care locations in Connecticut.
Its swab-based testing has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA, allowing it to be used commercially. The test kits are manufactured in its Farmingdale GMP facility and testing is done at its own clinical lab and other authorized labs as needed. In testing, Enzo says its AMPICOLLECT testing results are comparable to – in some cases better than – other available tests.
Most test kits require samples to be collected from the upper nasopharyngeal (the part of the throat that lies just behind the nose). Enzo says its testing enables collection from the mid-nasal region, which is much more comfortable and don’t need to be administered by healthcare professionals, which can expedite the process and get results to patients faster, allowing them to seek care and take other responsible action.
There’s no simple answer to COVID-19. Or, maybe there is – more testing, more implementation of workplace safety tech, and more responsible behavior. Still, we now know this a situation that is going to be with us for much longer than most people expected, and as long as numbers continue to increase, more testing will be needed to collect accurate data on the virus and its spread.