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anthracis was identified in letter C from media outlet 1, two other letters (A and B) were received and tested by BTRL. Letter A came from media outlet 1, and letter B came from media outlet 2.
The BTRL coordinator was also appointed to work in conjunction with CDC and DOD teams.
Within days of the initial event on October 12, all the essential elements of BTRL were in place.
Figure 2 shows the flow of a sample as it enters the BTRL. The laboratory can be divided into three main functional entities: 1) a receiving area, which contains a decontamination site in processing area and a secured temporary storage facility; 2) two sampling areas (one each of BSL-2 and BSL-3), containing facilities to unwrap and examine environmental samples and retrieve samples for further analysis (BSL-3), clinical microbiology laboratories, and the PCR laboratories; and 3) locked and guarded storage for samples that had completed the testing protocol and were ready for subsequent distribution as waste, returnable property, or evidence.
At the peak of the surge, BTRL was testing 60-100 samples per 24-hour shift.
With minor variations, the PHL had a fully functional BTRL running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within the first week.
A unique aspect of the staffing requirements for BTRL was the need for extensive security.
Physical security concerns became paramount because samples brought to the BTRL were also potential criminal evidence and therefore required special precautions (e.g., chain of custody, locked or guarded storage areas) to protect their integrity.
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- Btrieve Technologies, Inc.