Surge of COVID-19 cases in U.S. causes testing delays

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-14 07:23:36|Editor: huaxia

WASHINGTON, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The surge in COVID-19 cases across the United States has resulted in delays in processing and delivering test results, a leading U.S. diagnostic service company said on Monday.

Quest Diagnostics, one of the companies performing a significant amount of COVID-19 testing in the United States, said its average time to get test results back is now "7 or more days" for everyone except the highest-priority patients, meaning people who are hospitalized or symptomatic health care workers.

"Despite our rapid scaling up of capacity, soaring demand for COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests across the United States is slowing the time in which we can provide test results," said the company in a statement.

"We attribute this demand primarily to the rapid, continuing spread of COVID-19 infections across the nation but particularly in the South, Southwest and West regions of the country," said the statement.

The company is able to perform up to 125,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day, almost double its capacity two months ago, and expects to have the capacity for a 150,000 tests a day by the end of July.

"Despite that dramatic increase, demand for testing is increasing even faster. As a result, our average turnaround time for reporting test results is slightly more than 1 day for our priority 1 patients. However, our average turnaround time for all other populations is 7 or more days," said the company.

More than 3,353,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States with the fatalities surpassing 135,500 as of Monday evening, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Enditem