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Anchorage faces shortage of swabs to test for COVID-19

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 21, 2020
  • Published March 20, 2020

Healthcare providers took nasal swabs from people at a drive-thru testing site off Lake Otis on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, that will be tested for COVID-19. (Bill Roth / ADN)

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The city of Anchorage could run out of swabs health care workers need to test for COVID-19 by Sunday, and is asking medical providers for donations.

The city’s current demand is 250 to 280 tests per day, according to an alert sent Friday.

“Due to global demand, there is no definitive shipping date for more swabs,” the alert said. Shortages of testing supplies have been reported across the U.S., hindering an effort to ramp up testing for COVID-19.

The city is “immediately” asking for nasopharyngeal swabs with synthetic tips and non-wooden shafts.

Medical providers can take the swabs to the city’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at 4115 Lake Otis Parkway, the alert said.

The donations can be made from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.