Just about everyone in the know says that one thing that needs to happen before people go back to living their lives in a semi-normal fashion is that more testing for the coronavirus must be made available.

Now state administrators and health officials are throwing together a special task force to make sure that effective and reliable testing becomes more widespread in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced this week that the state is forming a special “Testing Surge Workgroup” in an attempt to find the best strategy for expanding test sites and test options for state residents who are concerned they might have the disease that has shifted life across the world into the park position.

The state’s new workgroup will also address “testing supply challenges,” such as the lack of personal protective equipment – something everyone now knows all too well as “PPE.” That equipment is needed to conduct several versions of the coronavirus test.

At the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Thursday, April 16 meeting, a need for more testing in Guilford County came up several times – and conversations just like that are taking place right now in many parts of the state and the country.

Earlier this week, the state unveiled a comprehensive plan to address the virus. That plan focuses on increasing testing capacity and analyzing new data quickly – including the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. It also stresses the importance of tracking the current needs for protective equipment, other supplies and hospital beds.

The new workgroup is using talent from both the private and public sector. Some of the members are Traci Butler, the Atlantic Division’s senior vice president of LabCorp; Alan Myers, vice president/general manager of the southeast region of Quest Diagnostics; Dr. Gerald Capraro, the director of a clinical microbiology lab at Carolinas Pathology Group, and Jay Campbell, the executive director of the NC Board of Pharmacy.