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A lab technician testing for coronavirus in Lake Success, New York. Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are rapidly increasing, but too many people still can't get tested.

Between the lines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's failed diagnostic test may be the original sin of our initial response to COVID-19, and we're still learning about the effects of allowing the virus to spread undetected.

The big picture: A lot of labs are now making tests, and testing capacity is steadily increasing.

  • But some areas have the ability to get results in hours, while others must wait days, as the Wall Street Journal reports. That's because some patients are receiving care closer to the testing facility than others.
  • States, counties and providers all have different criteria for who should be tested, and some of these criteria are still very limited — meaning that some patients with signs of the coronavirus aren't getting tested.
  • Some providers don't have enough protective gear, and so aren't testing patients in order to avoid infecting health care workers.

What's more, shortages of testing supplies may threaten our testing capacity in the near future.

  • As Politico reported Monday, there may be shortages in RNA-extraction kits that are a necessary component of the tests.
  • The New York Times reported yesterday that labs are also facing potential shortages of key chemical ingredients and having trouble obtaining other testing materials.

The bottom line: "What's most important now is there is still a significant shortage of reagents, and laboratories are really scrambling to get access to the reagents," Karen Carroll, director of the Division of Medical Microbiology at John Hopkins, told me. "That's the crisis we're all facing right now."

Go deeper: The two uncertainties of the coronavirus

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.