ST. PAUL -- Widespread testing of suspected coronavirus cases continues to be a challenge here in Minnesota.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says lab testing supplies are hard to come by.

Supplies for our highest capacity testing platforms are back-ordered until May 1st, so that's just an example of the supply chain issues that the Governor mentioned.  We have had multiple phone calls with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the highest levels based on the Governor's personal request to Vice President Pence.  We've sent specific supply requests and have not heard back.

Malcolm says none of the requested lab supplies made to Health and Human Services have materialized in Minnesota.

She says Minnesota hospitals have been stepping up and developing their own testing platforms, but she says many of their supplies are also on backorder.

She says, even if they had what they needed for testing kits, the healthcare provider system still needs more swabs to take the samples and more personal protective equipment.

Malcolm says the testing system is much more multi-layered and complex than what the messaging is that is coming from the federal government.

She says new faster-testing systems are being developed, but they are not ready yet.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app