Senator Ben Cardin leads Coronavirus roundtable on Friday

Posted at 9:30 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 23:29:48-05

BALTIMORE — Federal leaders are putting plans in place to make it easier to get tested for Coronavirus.

United States Senator Ben Cardin lead a discussion on the Coronavirus with Maryland Public Health experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center on Friday.

“At the National level we passed $8.3 billion of Federal Assistance,” Cardin said. “About $2 billion of that’s going directly to the states.”

Right now the only way to get tested is to go through your local health department.

That is a process that has lots of steps and takes time.

Cardin said by the end of the week 2,500 kits that will equate to 1 million tests will be distributed from the federal government to private labs--taking the burden off of the health departments across the country.

“They’ll be able to make arrangements with a lab to have that test done and that day the results can be known,“ said Cardin. “That’s going to be very important to help stop the spread of this disease.”

Cardin said progress labs are making progress on a vaccine -- but people shouldn't expect it to help this current outbreak.

$2 million has been appropriated for research.

“Let me make this clear we are very optimistic about a vaccine. It will not help us this season, the earliest we will have a vaccine available will be 2021.”