Wash. Gov.: State Testing for Coronavirus Up 20-Fold

Melanie Arter | March 9, 2020 | 3:59pm EDT
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(Photo by Jim Bennett/WireImage)
(Photo by Jim Bennett/WireImage)

(CNSNews.com) - Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that testing for the coronavirus in his state has gone up 20-fold in the last several weeks, because they started their testing protocol very early to develop their own state capacity.

Sixteen people have died from COVID-19 in the state of Washington, which was the first state to have someone die of the coronavirus.

Inslee said there were “troubles at the beginning of this with the testing protocols, but right now, I believe the agencies of the federal government are being very diligent and helping our state.”

“They are restocking our stockpile of protective equipment and medical supplies. We've had hundreds of thousands of new pieces of supply that come in the last couple of days,” the governor said.

“That's been very helpful. We need the federal government to really accelerate the production of these-- the ability to do these tests, and we will need the federal government to certify a new system of providing these tests to really ramp up the capability of the independent labs, which ultimately we're going to need,” he said.

“I'm very glad we started our testing protocol very early to develop our own state capacity. It's gone up by about twentyfold in the last several weeks,” Inslee said.

Washington state has had more than 100 coronavirus cases. 

When asked why he hasn’t been able to contain the virus, Inslee said the coronavirus is challenging and his state is doing the things they should be doing. 

“We're mourning our losses, which have been significant. We are acting based on science and a commitment for all of us to be soldiers in this battle, and we are doing that. We're having citizens who are doing what they need to do, which is we're doing teleworking so that we can reduce people being exposed,” he said.

“People are staying home from work when they are ill, and all systems of government, I think, are working as diligently as possible to be very aggressive against this potentially fatal disease. So those are the things going on, but we should not minimize the task before us giving the transmission. Every single social contact between humans anywhere in the world today is a potential exposure,” Inslee said.

“So we now are making scientific decisions about making sure we get as much testing as possible, making sure we restock our medical supply chain and making sure that we make good decisions about minimizing those social contacts which we're doing in the state of Washington,” he said.


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