Update March 18 at 6:45 p.m.

County Public Health has received the extraction reagents needed to complete tests. The county has enough supplies to complete up to 50 tests per day for the next several days, according to County Health Officer Penny Borenstein. 

Original Story

San Luis Obispo County is running low on extraction reagents — a critical piece in the COVID-19 testing process.

“We are having to pull back a bit from our capacity of 50,” County Health Officer Penny Borenstein said.

The county hopes to have the extraction reagents by today or tomorrow, Borenstein said. However, testing will need to be “significantly decreased” by tomorrow if the reagents are not received.

“Given that we want to maintain the limited capacity we have for our highest need individuals, which are those in hospital situations as well now as individuals that are contracts to known cases,”

While outpatient healthcare providers could previously send specimens to the county for testing, they will now need to send their tests elsewhere, according to County Public Health.

Through yesterday, County Public Health has been able to meet testing demand. They have performed 198 tests to date. An additional 50 tests are expected to be performed today.

If the county runs out of supplies to complete test, they will need to send specimens to California state labs.

San Luis Obispo County has received an additional testing kit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This accommodates approximately 300 patients, but cannot be used without the extraction reagents.

There are no other laboratories in the county that can complete COVID-19 tests onsite, Borenstein said.

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