COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Having enough testing for the COVID-19 virus has been an issue across the country.
Gov. Mike DeWine says the state could be doing a lot more testing. It just needs to help from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
When DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton give their updates at the statehouse, they often talk about testing being an issue.
Sunday, DeWine brought the issue to a nationwide audience.
On NBC’s Meet the Press, DeWine said with help from the FDA, the state could double or even triple its testing abilities overnight.
He said he wants the FDA to prioritize companies who put together a slightly different formula when it comes to the supplies used in the testing.
This is the second time in recent weeks DeWine has publicly asked the FDA for help, the first was with Battelle’s mask decontamination technology.
Doctors from both OhioHealth and the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said while testing has improved since the beginning of all this, there has been supply chain problems throughout.
At this point, they say they have the ability to be testing more, it’s just that the supply of those the reagents to do the testing is still a problem.
“What he’s asking of the FDA is to liberalize the use on these reagents or try to grease the wheels on getting the reagents to the hospitals within Ohio,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, system medical director of infectious diseases for OhioHealth.
“A good example would be if you’re cooking something and the recipe requires butter, but you could use margarine instead,” said Dr. Peter Mohler, vice-dean of research for the Ohio State College of Medicine and the Wexner Medical Center. “It’s those sorts of things we’re thinking about, if the test works and could allow us to test more people, then we’d really like to have permission to be able to do those substitutions.”
After his appearance on Meet the Press, DeWine tweeted he had a very positive phone call from the FDA.