Washington state recalls 12,000 coronavirus test kits

Washington state has recalled 12,000 coronavirus testing kits sent across the state due to a possible contamination, the department of health said Sunday. 

The health department said it was alerted about the possible quality control issue on Friday by UW Medicine.

Some of the vials of the viral transport media (VTM), the fluid that preserves a specimen as it’s transported, were an unusual color which led UW Medicine to reach out to the department of health. 

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“Though the quality control issue has only been observed in a small number of tubes of viral transport media, we adhere to the highest quality standards for COVID-19 testing in Washington state,” Secretary of Health John Wiesman said in a statement. “We are working with our partners to have them discard the product and will work to replace them as quickly as we can.”

The department of health said officials believe there is no health risk to patients since the VTM does not come into contact with patients during a COVID-19 test. 

Testing at UW Medicine indicated the quality issues observed in the small number of the VTM tubes did not impact COVID-19 test results, but as the investigation is ongoing the department of health said it is choosing to recall both the viral transport media and the nasal collection swabs out of caution. 

No other supplies previously used for testing are impacted by the recall, according to the announcement.