About 12,000 test kits for COVID-19 are being recalled in the state of Washington due to potential contamination.
In recent weeks there has been a big push for increased coronavirus testing, which means thousands of test kits are being sent to state and local leaders throughout the country. However, 12,000 COVID-19 test kits that were distributed around Washington state were recently recalled by the Department of Health due to potential contamination.
The recall was issued over the weekend after UW Medicine alerted state health officials to “discontinue use of a recently procured batch of specimen collection kits that UW Medicine believed may have a quality control issue.” When commenting on the recall, Secretary of Health John Wiesman said, “Though the quality control issue has only been observed in a small number of tubes of viral transport media, we adhere to the highest quality standards for COVID-19 testing in Washington state.” He added, “We are working with our partners to have them discard the product and will work to replace them as quickly as we can.”
For those who don’t know, viral transport media is the “fluid that preserves a specimen during transport, such as one collected via nasal swab from a person being tested for COVID-19.” According to reports from UW Medicine, some of the vials “were an unusual color,” prompting the recall and an investigation into the potential contamination.
Fortunately, health officials do not believe the potentially contaminated vials pose a health risk to patients. Additionally, recent “testing completed at UW Medicine has indicated that the quality issues observed in the small number of the vials did not impact COVID-19 test results.”
The affected test kits were donated to UW Medicine by Lingen Precision Medical Products. For now, jurisdictions who have the recalled test kits should contact DOH “for a new shipment of swabs and transport vials for replacement.”