On January 22, 2020, APHL established its Incident Command System (ICS) and activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The ICS approach enables APHL to effectively coordinate with CDC and other partners to respond to COVID-19.
APHL's priorities are to:
Ensure public health laboratories have timely diagnostics to perform quality laboratory testing in their jurisdictions
Support public health laboratories with reporting test results to sample submitters and CDC
Provide technical assistance and credible communications to public health laboratories, partners and the public.
APHL continues to monitor the response, providing assistance to member public health laboratories as they bring on the CDC EUA test and advocating on their behalf.
Strengthening Informatics Systems
When a public health crisis like COVID-19 strikes, any response effort would be futile without the technical infrastructure in place to send and receive data, or the standardized nomenclature to communicate the information.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, APHL has been working with laboratories to ensure they can rapidly receive test orders from healthcare providers and communicate results to CDC, providers and the public. APHL is also continuing to develop technical innovations and initiatives to help strengthen the response effort and ease the burden on public health laboratories.
Learn More About APHL's COVID-19 Informatics Activities
Understanding Laboratory Testing Capacity and Capabilities
Beginning April 13, 2020, APHL has conducted a weekly survey of up to 100 state, local and territorial public health laboratories to understand their current and projected capability and capacity to test for SARS-CoV-2. Data from this survey is used to inform HHS, FEMA, CDC and other federal partners to support public health laboratory supply and reagent needs.
View the Survey's Data Dashboard
Private Partnerships, Funding and Advocacy Efforts
APHL-Amazon Partnership Opens Access to COVID-19 Supplies for Member Labs
APHL has partnered with Amazon to allow member labs priority access to their special COVID-19 supply store created for first responders, COVID-19 Supplies. The not-for-profit store has hundreds of items related to protective apparel, disinfectants and diagnostic equipment. In order to purchase from the store, labs must have an Amazon Business account, but it is free to register. Learn more about how to create an account and access the store.
ELC CARES & CDC Emergency Response Funding Guidance
APHL has worked to create guidance tools to respond to the CDC ELC project funding known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) of 2020, and the cooperative agreement for CDC Emergency Response: Public Health Crisis - COVID-19.
APHL and Partners Urge Emergency Funding to Bolster Novel Coronavirus Response
APHL worked together with leaders of public health organizations including ASTHO, NACCHO and CSTE to urge emergency funding in the following letters:
Public Health Laboratory COVID-19 News Coverage
APHL Media Statements and Blog Articles
The Importance of Test Verification in Public Health Laboratories, May 12, 2020
Antibody Testing Is Important in COVID-19 Response, But More Data Is Needed to Expand Its Role, May 7, 2020
APHL Applauds Revised FDA Policy on Serology Tests for COVID-19, May 4, 2020
Moving Data at the Speed of a Virus, April 23, 2020
Variability in States’ Testing Numbers: It’s Not That Simple, April 16, 2020
Nation's Public Health Leaders Urge President Trump to use All Available Authorities to Quickly Produce Testing Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment, April 10, 2020
Coronavirus Stimulus Provides Key Investments in Public Health,
March 27, 2020
APHL and Partners: COVID Aid Package Provides Much Needed Funding for Data Modernization, March 27, 2020
COVID-19 Testing Needs to Be Limited to Priority Groups Until Sufficient Testing Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment is Available Nationwide,
March 20, 2020
APHL CEO to His Kids: We Will Get Through This. Now Go Wash Your Hands,
March 13, 2020
APHL: Expanding Testing Capacity for COVID-19 Greatly Bolsters US Public Health Response, Feb. 29, 2020
APHL and Partners Urge Emergency Funding to Bolster Novel Coronavirus Response, Feb. 24, 2020
Media Statement on Novel Coronavirus Public Health Emergency Declaration from APHL Executive Director Scott Becker, Jan. 31, 2020
Responding to the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Emerging in Wuhan, China,
Jan. 24, 2020
External Media Coverage
working closely with the media to communicate the importance of testing and the role of public health laboratories during the COVID-19 response. Below are a selection of articles in which APHL has been featured or quoted:
Saving COVID-19 Testing For Those Who Really Need It, By APHL's Scott Becker and ASTHO's Michael Fraser, Health Affairs | March 23, 2020
How To Test A Country, Planet Money, NPR | March 18, 2020
Severe Shortages of Swabs and Other Supplies Hamper Coronavirus Testing
CNN | March 18, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus Testing
Wired | March 16, 2020
What Went Wrong with Coronavirus Testing in the US
The New Yorker | March 16, 2020
FDA Chief's Claim of 1M Coronavirus Tests by End of Week Stirs Controversy
Politico | March 3, 2020