Rhode Island & US Government asks: “What’s in your closet”?

Coronavirus presents unique challenges/questions

RIDOH State Health Laboratories have been testing RI patients for COVID-19 since February 29, 2020, when we had the first positive test result. We have significantly ramped up our capacity to test, but are now severely limited because of the nationwide shortage of critical supplies and reagents. We appreciate all offers of supplies we have received so far and are encouraged by the outpouring of support from the research community and the public.

There is also a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Listed below are specific items most urgently needed as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as the items needed to complete the laboratory test for COVID 19 virus using the following protocol ( under the FDA-approved Emergency Use Authorization. If you are a researcher, supplier, or manufacturer in possession of these items and willing to donate or sell them to us, please provide all required information so that we can quickly assess if it will meet our needs.

Please note we will not be able to use expired reagents or items that might perform similarly but have not been specifically approved for use with this test.

PPE Needs:
N95 Respirator Masks
Procedure Masks
Surgical Face Masks
Face Shields

Other Medical Needs:
Hand Sanitizer
Sanitizing Wipes

Lab Supply Needs:
QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (50 count): Qiagen: Cat # 52904
QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (250 count): Qiagen: Cat # 52906
DSP RNA Viral Mini Kit (50 count): Qiagen: Cat # 61904
MagNA Pure 96 External Lysis Buffer: Roche: Cat # 06374913001



Swab Shaft (Handle)
– Sterile (or able to be sterilized)
– Flexible (needs to be very flexible to reach the nasopharynx)
– Approximately 6 inches in length
– Plastic or wire shaft (handle), plastic preferred
– Plastic handle needs to have the ability to be snapped (broken) at a breakpoint score mark so that the end of the shaft with the swab tip remains in the liquid Viral Transport Media. Viral Transport Media can be purchased in an assortment of tube sizes so there is a need for the score mark to be at either 100mm or 80mm.

Swab tip:

– Mini Tip
– Synthetic (ex: polyester, rayon, Dacron)
– Cannot be cotton or calcium alginate
– Can be “flocked”


BD 220531 Flocked Sterile Swab Applicator


– Liquid medium commonly used for specimens that are too be tested for viruses, chlamydia, mycoplasmas
– There are many similar formulations that would fit our needs
– Volume in each tube can be between 1.0ml -3.0ml


BD 2203114 Universal Viral Transport Vials 3ml

More information on RI donations, here:

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