UPDATE: March 14, 2020

Dear RNA Colleague,

In response to our earlier email, many of you have reached out asking how you can help. A lot of the testing facilities in US are short on kits and other standard molecular biology supplies. One key way you can help is taking an inventory of your supplies that can be used for testing.

To enable coordination with health officials, we have put together a Google form to collect information on what is available in academic labs: https://forms.gle/AurprxWJCkaDUcZbA

If you want to help and are okay with being contacted by local health officials, please fill it out! And please send it on to others in your local scientific community who may also want to help.

We will convey this information to public health officials in the next few days. Stay tuned for more updates and be sure to check periodically our COVID-19 page for the latest information.

Stay safe, and thank you for all that you are doing, 

Olivia Rissland
Chair, RNA Society Membership Committee
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

ORIGINAL POST: March 13, 2020

Dear RNA colleagues,

As RNA researchers, we can make a difference in expanding the testing capabilities for COVID-19.

I am writing to share ways in which you can help local efforts with COVID-19 testing, based on actions that are being taken within my community. Here in Denver, we are asking researchers to take stock of needed reagents (see below for details) that are presently in their labs and local supply centers, to share qPCR testing capabilities, and to identify researchers who themselves can help with the testing.

I strongly urge you to coordinate with local colleagues to help with efforts in your community. Please consider reaching out to local public health officials in a coordinated fashion and sharing inventory with them. In addition, consider contacting your local city government officials to help explain steps that your community can take to help test for COVID-19 and to save lives.

Because this situation is rapidly changing, we will also have a page on our website with up-to-date information about local testing and other developments. And make sure to follow your local and federal governments for guidelines.

Thank you for stepping up in this tumultuous time, and please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Stay safe,

Olivia Rissland
Chair, RNA Society Membership Committee
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Email: [email protected]


Below is the information being sought in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment will likely experience a shortage of RNA kits and reagents for COVID-19 testing. The approved kits for testing are:

• QIAGEN with QIAmp DSP Viral RNA Mini Kit (obtained from IRR)
• QIAGEN EZ1 Advanced XL with EZ1 DSP Virus Kit (obtained from IRR)
• QIAGEN QIAcube with QIAmp DSP Viral RNA Mini Kit (obtained from IRR))
• Roche MagNA Pure LC with Total Nucleic Acid Kit
• Roche MagNA Pure Compact with Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit I
• Roche MagNA Pure 96 with DNA and Viral NA Small Volume Kit

This page (https://www.qiagen.com/us/insights-magazine/qiagen-supports-healthcare-workers-around-the-world-in-the-fight-against-coronavirus) also indicates that the RNeasy mini kits are OK replacements for the viral kits.

Please estimate the size of your lab stocks; we will rank by size and contact you if needed.

Email address:
Estimate of RNA prep reactions (from Qiagen approved kits):
Estimate of reverse transcriptase reactions:
qPCR capacity (in units of 384 plates):
Estimate of 384 plates:
I am willing and able to help with diagnostic testing: Y/N