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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

38 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.