All 93 public labs in the United States will be ready to run diagnostic tests for coronavirus by the weekend, Health Secretary Alex Azar said on Thursday.
"The FDA [Food & Drug Administration] authorised the use of those tests by using just the first and second step to provide a definitive diagnostic", Azar told a congressional hearing on US preparedness to deal with the virus. "So, 40 labs are qualified to already be doing that, and then by this weekend, all 93 labs around the country will get these."
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it may have discovered the first US "community infection" of the virus involving a patient in California who developed symptoms despite not travelling out of the country or being in contact with someone who did.
According to Johns Hopkins University's online coronavirus tracker, as of Thursday 60 cases have been confirmed in the United States overall with a total of six people recovered. The tool maps cases throughout the world, pulling data from the WHO, CDC, and European and Chinese health agencies as well as other independent sources.