US should have enough testing capacity if country reopens in May, key federal health official says

Key US government official Adm. Brett Giroir, whose responsibilities include oversight of Covid-19 testing, told Bloomberg News Saturday that coronavirus testing capacity in the US should be in the “ballpark” needed to begin reopening the country by May if the President recommends lifting some social distancing guidelines.

Giroir, the assistant Health and Human Services secretary, outlined the four diagnostics needed before easing social distancing restrictions.

“Surveillance to catch new flare-ups; testing of people who have specific symptoms; contact-tracing for confirmed cases; and antibody testing to know who’s recovered from the virus,” which he said is weeks away, according to Bloomberg.

Giroir said that the administration is having an “active discussion” about adding minorities to the priority list.

My opinion is we probably need to be more explicit about minorities being a high priority, because they may not know they have hypertension or diabetes or other things,” he told Bloomberg

A finger-prick test to identify people who have already had coronavirus should be available “in the course of weeks,” Giroir told the outlet.

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