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US Labs Required To Give More Data Along With Coronavirus Test Results

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directed laboratories testing patients for coronavirus to also report data based on their age, sex, race and ethnicity along with test results.

The new requirements were released on Thursday in response to lawmakers' demands for a better picture of the pandemic.

Also, the government wants to know why the deadly respiratory disease is having a disproportionate impact on certain demographics, including racial minorities and older Americans, HHS said in a statement.

"The Guidance standardizes reporting to ensure that public health officials have access to comprehensive and nearly real-time data to inform decision making in their response to COVID-19. As the country begins to reopen, access to clear and accurate data is essential to communities and leadership for making decisions critical to a phased reopening," it added.

The new reporting requirements will provide information needed to better monitor disease incidence and trends by initiating epidemiological case investigations, assisting with contact tracing, assessing availability and use of testing resources, and anticipating potential supply chain issues.

"The requirement to include demographic data like race, ethnicity, age, and sex will enable us to ensure that all groups have equitable access to testing, and allow us to accurately determine the burden of infection on vulnerable groups," said Brett P. Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires every laboratory that conducts pathological tests to diagnose a possible case of COVID-19 to report the results to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS.

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