Mislabeled supplies from FEMA slow COVID-19 testing, report says

State officials said they received mislabeled and incorrectly packaged shipments of medical supplies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that have delayed COVID-19 testing, The Hill reported. 

The Seattle Times reported that health officials in Washington state received shipments of swabs used for COVID-19 testing in boxes incorrectly marked as "Comforts for Baby: Cotton Swabs," leading health officials to think they'd received the wrong product. 

WTTW in Chicago reported that Illinois officials received the same mislabeled boxes. 

U.S. Cotton later confirmed that the swabs were the correct swabs needed for testing. 

The swabs were also packaged together instead of individually, as they typically are to prevent exposure, so state officials must test the swabs to make sure they're sterile, according to The Hill. 

Officials are also concerned about whether the swabs were manufactured correctly, as they're shorter than the typical testing swab, aides to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker told The Hill. 

State officials are considering repackaging the swabs individually before distributing them to hospitals, which is time-consuming and another obstacle to testing, The Hill reported. 

In a memo, U.S. Cotton said the swabs were placed in the baby cotton swabs packaging to save time, but that future shipments will go in blank packaging with lot numbers and date codes.

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