CDC begins shipping coronavirus tests to state and local health departments

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Coronavirus tests developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shipped Wednesday to U.S. and international laboratories, including those at state and local public health departments. 

Health providers and health departments previously sent samples for testing to the CDC in Atlanta, Ga. 

The distribution of the tests will enable departments to identify new cases with increased speed — the test can provide results in four hours. 

“Our goal is early detection of new cases and to prevent further spread of the coronavirus,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield.

“Distribution of these diagnostic tests to state laboratories, U.S. government partners and more broadly to the global public health community will accelerate efforts to confront this evolving global public health challenge,” he continued. 

About 400 test kits will be distributed domestically and internationally. Each kit can test about 700-800 patient samples. More kits will be produced and shipped in the future, the CDC said. 

The number of coronavirus cases reached 12 this week after a positive diagnosis in Wisconsin. 

More than 28,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide, mostly in China. About 216 cases have been confirmed in other countries. 

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