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NEW YORK – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it has validated a new protocol for its assay to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. Local labs that have the test kits already can use them with a modified protocol, and the agency will also ship new kits.

With the new modifications, state and local public health labs will be able to test possible cases more locally. Meanwhile, the surveillance testing that has been previously described will likely be up and running at six initial sites by next week.

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