In many areas of the country we are seeing significant increases in the number of people being tested for COVID-19, but also seeing major delays in getting the results. Delays of two weeks are not uncommon. (I waited 15 days.) These lengthy delays make the testing virtually useless as a means to slow the spread of the disease.
A public health official in Alleghany County PA has suggested one method that would rapidly reduce the delay–reduce the number of tests.
Only those with “COVID-19 symptoms; those who have had close contact with a known, positive covid-19 case; and health care workers and first responders who have been exposed to covid-19” should be tested. Clearly not a perfect solution, since between 20-40% of cases are asymptomatic, but we must reduce the delay between testing and results.
Without question, a 12-18 day wait for results is useless.
Obviously, this will not fix all the problems with testing, but we applaud a local official for taking action on the problems she can fix.
See the article: Allegheny County explains covid-19 backlog, advises priority testing