Garza: Coronavirus test kits still hard to come by in St. Louis

Feds have bought kits out from under local officials

Brian Kelly
May 14, 2020 - 2:58 pm

    ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - While testing for coronavirus is said to be the key to returning to anything close to normal, the testing kits continue to be hard to come by in the St. Louis area.

    "We're two, two-and-a-half months into this," says Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Incident Commander Dr. Alex Garza, "and we're playing catch up right now."

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    Garza says it's still a challenge to get any significant and consistent deliveries. He tells KMOX that among those local healthcare officials are competing with is the federal government, which has intercepted a couple of orders.

    "About a fifth of the order is what we actually wound up getting," he says. "We were expecting to get a shipment of testing supplies, we got a call back that said, 'The government has commandeered this equipment so you guys aren't going to receive it.'"

    Garza says we're fighting an unconventional war, so it would be helpful if the federal government would use the powers only it has, including the Defense Production Act, to streamline and stabilize the supply chain.

    "We need some sort of way to stabilize it and to make sure that any disruptions can be quickly corrected because these are our workers and Patients that are relying on this supply chain." 

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