By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Because of short supplies of materials, the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory will only conduct coronavirus tests on samples from high-priority patients, health care workers and first responders, the Department of Health announced Thursday.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s public health officer, said the lab will only accept samples from people suspected of having the coronavirus if they come from hospitalized patients, patients or staff in communal settings such as nursing homes, health care workers and first responders, people over 65 with underlying health concerns and those who have contact with them or pregnant women.
Samples for all other suspected coronavirus cases need to be to be sent to private laboratories to preserve the Public Health Laboratory’s supply of testing materials, Harrist said.
“We are hopeful the supply situation will improve, but in the meantime we must ensure timely testing is available when it can make the most difference to help meet our most critical needs,” Harrist said.
Harrist, who oversees the Public Health Laboratory, said the lab’s supplies have held out so far, but officials are growing concerned about the demand for testing materials.
“We’ve done well so far at our lab, but our concern about supplies of certain materials we need for testing has grown,” she said.