NC Officials Say State Doesn't Have Enough Coronavirus Test Kits
North Carolina officials say the state does not have enough test kits for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said at a press conference Friday the supply of kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is running low.
"Although we made plans based on assurances from the CDC, we, like many other states, have not received the supplies to run the tests that we need," she said. "Currently, [at] the state lab, we have on hand enough supplies from the CDC to test approximately 150 people."
Cohen said her agency asked a manufacturer directly for more supplies and is expecting enough kits to test an additional 500 people in the coming days -- which she said is helpful but still not enough.
Gov. Roy Cooper said at the press conference he has spoken to Vice President Mike Pence about the shortage. Cooper also said North Carolina hopes to work with private company LabCorp which has developed its own coronavirus test kits.
Health officials have confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina as of Friday evening. Both infected people live in the Triangle area and traveled to places -- Italy and the Seattle area -- that now have outbreaks of the disease. The number of confirmed cases is expected to grow as testing becomes more widely available.