Maine CDC Health Advisory
May 18, 2020
Increased COVID-19 Testing Capacity at Maine CDC Laboratory
On March 25, 2020, Maine met U.S. CDC's criteria for a Moderate level of community transmission for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since then Maine's testing capacity has been inhibited by the limited national supply of laboratory materials and testing equipment. To preserve specimen collection and testing supplies for patients who may develop severe COVID-19 illness, Maine CDCs Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) has, until now, had to prioritize testing for individuals in high-risk categories.
Maine CDC has expanded its capacity for COVID-19 testing. This expansion results largely from a partnership with IDEXX (Westbrook, Maine) to use the OPTI SARS-CoV-2 RNA PCR Test Kit, which recently received US FDA Emergency Use Authorization. The test kit is based on real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which provides detection of the viral RNA in the sample.