Federal government taking steps with states to ramp up testing

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The White House is taking steps to dramatically ramp up testing for coronavirus during the months of May and June, working in partnership with the nation's governors, Fox News is told.

Senior administration officials say they will be doing many more tests during those months than they have cumulatively done so far. The goal is to help facilitate states' abilities to begin their reopening processes while monitoring and dealing with potential hotspots.

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A new minimum standard will be set at testing at least 2 percent of a state's population. Washington, D.C., will be helping states by making sure they have the necessary supplies to meet their May and June goals, specifically swabs and testing media they need to meet their objectives.

Should governors decide to impose a greater standard of testing to a higher percentage of their population, the White House will work with them on that.

The White House, CDC and FDA also put out a "Blueprint for Testing Plans and Rapid Response Programs," which details how the federal government will work with state, local and tribal officials.

"Having these plans in place and programs in place will help states prevent and contain local outbreaks that may occur as economic and social activities expand across the country," the blueprint says.

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The current objective is to test anyone showing symptoms, as well as all first responders and medical personnel. An additional goal is to conduct surveillance and sentinel testing among high-risk populations and people who are asymptomatic

The administration is also looking into how to improve the reliability of antibody testing so that Americans can find out if they have already been infected.

The White House -- which abruptly canceled and then re-scheduled a press briefing Monday -- said the president would be discussing testing with reporters.

"The White House has additional testing guidance and other announcements about safely opening up America again. President @realDonaldTrump will brief the nation during a press conference this evening," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted.