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Arkansas legislators request more testing supplies as COVID-19 infection rate grows

A group of Arkansas legislators are asking for help from the White House Coronavirus Task Force in regards to a lack to testing reagents in the state.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Arkansas officials have written a letter to Vice President Mike Pence requesting the White House Coronavirus Task Force take action to ensure an adequate supply of reagents for COVID-19 testing in Arkansas.

The letter comes from Senator John Boozman, Senator Tom Cotton, Congressman Rick Crawford, Congressman Steve Womack, Congressman Bruce Westerman, and Congressman French Hill.

The letter states, in part:

"Recently, we were advised that a reference lab used by many Arkansas hospitals has cancelled their testing contracts due to a lack of sufficient testing reagents. Likewise, Arkansas hospitals have had their internal testing capacity limited to ten percent of their machines' and staff's ability to run tests due to a lack of reagents."

According to the letter, the state has reached a critical point and now has to decide between one of two choices.

One choice is to adhere to the requirement for COVID-19 tests 48 hours before elective surgeries, which would likely lead to the cancellation of elective procedures

The second choice is to completely eliminate the testing requirement, which means medical staff would have to assume every patient has COVID-19. This would cause PPE to be used at a more rapid rate.

As the letter states, "Either option puts Arkansans at risk."

The final call to action in the letter is for the task force to bolster the nation's supply of testing regents so that the current infrastructure of testing may continue.

Read the full letter written to Vice President Pence:

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