Gene Sequencing of COVID-19 Outbreak in Minnesota School System Guides Public Health Officials in Slowing Spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus

Data was used to create a transmission map that tracked the spread of infections among school athletes and helped public health officials determine where best to disrupt exposure Genomic sequencing played a major role in tracking a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in a Minnesota school system. Understanding how and where the coronavirus was spreading helped local officials implement restrictions to help keep the public safe. This episode demonstrates how clinical laboratories that can quickly sequence...

Medscape Report on Physician Salaries in 2020 Shows Pathologists at Middle in Pay, but Near Top in Job Satisfaction

Though pathology salaries rank 16th among 29 medical specialties, it is in the top 10 among specialties that attract women and respondents say that comes with a lot of paperwork Despite “hardships” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, 18,000 physicians in more than 29 medical specialties who participated in Medscape’s 2021 Physician Compensation Report said that, overall, their 2020 income was similar to prior years. Pathologists reported earnings in 2020 of $316,000, $28,000 below the average...

Hospital-based Clinical Laboratory Scientist is Suing Her Former Employer After Being Fired Due to Long-Haul COVID-19 Illness

Medical laboratory employee alleges healthcare system discriminated based on her medical condition, failed to accommodate her disability, then retaliated and created hostile working conditions What is a clinical laboratory’s obligation when an employee is infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and does not make a speedy recovery? Medical laboratory executives should ponder this question now that a California hospital system is being sued by a 33-year laboratory employee who was terminated...

COVID-19 Pandemic Tied to Historically Low Influenza Cases, Leading to Uncertainty about Next Winter’s Flu Vaccine

Clinical laboratories may see increase in flu and COVID-19 specimen processing as people return to pre-pandemic social behaviors, experts predict While SARS-CoV-2 infections continue to ravage many parts of the world, influenza (flu) cases in North America have hit a historic low. As winter approached last year, infectious disease experts warned of a “twindemic” in which the COVID-19 outbreak would combine with seasonal influenza to overwhelm the healthcare system. But this did not happen, and...

FDA Grants CLIA Waiver Allowing First Test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea to Be Performed at the Point of Care

Federal regulators continue to recognize value of clinical laboratory testing in near-patient settings To help in the diagnosis and management of two sexually-transmitted diseases, another point-of-care diagnostic test will soon be available for use in physician’s offices, urgent care clinics, and other healthcare settings. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it granted a CLIA waiver for the binx health io CT/NG assay, a molecular platform used to detect sexually...

COVID-19 Surveillance Screening Program Used in Chicago School Systems Comes Under Scrutiny by Illinois Department of Public Health Following New York Times Article

Dozens of Chicago-area schools were reopened with the help of an $11 COVID-19 saliva test, but the qualifications of the clinical laboratory, and whether it complied with federal regulations, were called into question It was only a matter of time when newly-formed clinical laboratories—taking advantage of the federal government’s loosening of regulations to promote COVID-19 testing—drew the attention of state regulators and the national news media. This is what happened at New Trier High...
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