Lab Matters Spring 2020 | Page 26

PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE APHL Responds to COVID-19 by Stephanie Barahona, associate specialist, Public Health Preparedness and Response and Chris Mangal, MPH, director, Public Health Preparedness and Response Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become an international public health concern, requring a massive public health response. APHL has acted quickly to support members in this unprecedented global health emergency, and will continue to advance the mission of public health laboratories throughout the response. APHL COVID-19 RESPONSE GOALS • Ensure public health laboratories have timely diagnostics to perform quality laboratory testing in their jurisdictions. • Assist public health laboratories with reporting test results to sample submitters and to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). • Provide technical assistance and credible communications to public health laboratories, partners and the public. APHL RESPONSE ACTIONS Activated Emergency Operations Center Utilizing its incident command system (ICS) to effectively coordinate the organization’s response and better address the needs of public health laboratories. Shaped Science and Quality of Diagnostics • First to call attention to the quality of the CDC assay and worked with CDC on solutions to mitigate the quality issues. • Maintained a COVID-19 task force of experts and proposed a select group of public health laboratories to verify the initial lot of reagents. CDC utilized these data to shape the deployment of new test kits to qualified laboratories. • Worked with CDC and public health laboratories to evaluate automated extraction platforms to increase testing capacity. • Captured data on capability, capacity and needs from 100 public health laboratories to inform allocation of federal resources. Secured Private Funding to Support Priority Jurisdictions • Secured funding from the CDC Foundation to procure and deliver 12 QIAGEN EZ1 Advanced XL Automated Extraction Instruments and associated service contracts for eight public health laboratories. • Entered into contracts with three repatriated sites (California, San Diego and Nebraska) supporting payment for staff time, purchasing reagents and updating their laboratory information management system (LIMS). DIGITAL EXTRA: Read more about APHL’s response efforts to COVID-19 24 LAB MATTERS Spring 2020 PublicHealthLabs @APHL