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Maine CDC stops processing COVID-19 tests from state hospitals

The lab will continue to process samples from swab and send sites they set up at some hospitals.
The Maine CDC Laboratory will no longer process COVID-19 tests from state hospitals.
The Maine CDC Laboratory will no longer process COVID-19 tests from state hospitals.(Pixabay)
Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 4:21 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The Maine CDC Laboratory will no longer process COVID-19 tests from state hospitals.

This announcement from Maine DHHS on Tuesday morning.

The agency informed hospitals that they will not be able to accept or process samples for pre-procedural testing, inpatients or outpatients.

The lab will continue to process samples from swab and send sites they set up at some hospitals.

Six of the state’s 36 hospitals rely on the lab for most of their testing.

Head of the Maine CDC Dr. Nirav Shah says the increased demand has placed a strain on the laboratory which focuses on emergent situations such as outbreaks.

”In light of our desire to make sure we had sufficient capacity at our lab as well as what everyone is aware of is an increasing number of outbreaks that we are opening day in and day out, we wanted preemptively to make sure that we had that capacity,” said Shah. “Because we are opening more investigations, we want to make sure that we can preserve that.”

Dr. Shah says hospitals do have the ability to use their own labs and to send out to outside labs.

The changes are set to take effect later this week.

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