NEW YORK – Families hoping for an increase in coronovirus cases and to gather safely for Thanksgiving, long lines for testing have reappeared across the US – a warning that the nation’s stressful testing system coalesces with the virus Unable to keep.
The delays are in the form of braces for the winter season, flu season and holiday trips to the country, all of which are expected to increase US outbreaks that have already suffered 11.5 million cases and 250,000 deaths.
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The laboratories warned that the continued shortage of key supplies was likely to create more bottlenecks and delays, particularly as cases escalate throughout the country and people rush to test with relatives before reunification.
Scott Baker, CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, said, “As those cases increase, the demand increases and the timing of change may increase.” “So it’s like a dog chasing its tail.”
Lines at test sites across New York City this week spanned several blocks of the city, allowing people to wait three or more hours before they could even enter health clinics. In Los Angeles, thousands of people stood outside Dodger Stadium for a drive-through test.
“It’s crazy,” 39-year-old Chauneta Renaud said as she entered her fourth hour on Tuesday waiting to enter a so-called rapid testing site in Brooklyn. Renaud and her husband plan to test before Thanksgiving, when they will drive to pick up their mother for vacation. “We tested first and it was nothing like that,” she said.
On the one hand, the fact that testing problems are only now emerging – more than a month into the latest virus surge – is a testament to the country’s increased capacity. The US is testing more than 1.5 million people per day in July, more than double the rate in July, when many Americans faced long lines.
But experts like Johns Hopkins University researcher Gigi Gronwall said the US still has little to control the virus.
Groenevale said that the current test rate is “on its way, but it is nowhere near necessary to move the course of this epidemic.” Many experts have called for anywhere between 4 million and 15 million daily tests to suppress the virus.
Trump administration officials estimate that the US has enough tests to screen between 4 million and 5 million people this month. But it does not fully reflect real-world conditions. The tests used at most testing sites rely on specialized chemicals and equipment that have been subject to chronic deficiencies for months.
US government official Adam Brett Giroir tested the lines and reports of delays earlier this week. In some cases, he said, the lines are due to a lack of timeliness of the test locations, which can stagger appointments.
“I am sure this is going to happen from time to time, but we are aggressively helping the states, if we can resolve these types of issues,” Giroir said.
Marguerite Winter, 28, stood in line for more than two hours to conduct a test on Monday at a Chicago site. She plans to fly her mother to Massachusetts for Thanksgiving and to live during Christmas. Visitors in Massachusetts are required to quarantine for two weeks or show evidence of a negative test.
“It’s more than just being safe around my family,” Winters said. “Just peace of mind to know that I’m fine.”
In California, health officials have given mixed messages about whether residents should undergo tests before discharge.
San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management warned that people should not use the test to determine if they could travel. But Contra Costa County across the Bay suggested that anyone should insist on gathering with friends or relatives.
On Tuesday, federal regulators authorized the first rapid coronavirus test that can be performed at home. It delivers results in 30 minutes and will cost around $ 50. But the test kit from Luciara Health will be available by prescription only, and will not be rolled out nationally until spring.
As bad as the wait for testing has become, it is still better than in July, when the US relied almost entirely on tests that take two or more days for laboratories to process, even under ideal conditions. As cases increased to 70,000 per day, many had to wait a week or more to find out their results, making the information virtually useless for isolation and tracking.
In recent months, federal health officials have distributed approximately 60 million rapid, point-of-care tests that give results in 15 minutes. They have helped reduce pressure on large laboratories. But not enough.
Since 15 September, the daily count of US tests has increased nearly 100 percent, based on a seven-day rolling average. However, according to an AP analysis, the daily average of new Kovid-19 cases has risen by more than 300 percent to more than Wednesday’s 161,000.
This week, Quest Diagnostics warned that mushroom demand for testing had increased its turnaround time by a little over two days.
The lab company said that operations are being squeezed to measure shortages of test chemicals, pipettes. Those goods are produced by very few manufacturers worldwide.
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Facing supply shortages and spiking demand, many hospitals have been forced to send some Kovid-19 tests to larger laboratories such as Quest for processing, delaying results for patients.
“If I can do a Kovid test at home, we are talking for a small number of hours. If I have to send it to a reference lab, we are talking about days, ”Dr. Said Patrick Godbey, lab director at Southeast Georgia Regional Medical Center.
Godbai stresses that health officials have been building for months: America’s outbreak is huge by testing alone. Americans should take basic measures such as wearing masks, social distinctions, and frequent hand washing.
“You can’t test yourself out of an epidemic,” said Godbe, who is also the president of the College of American Pathologists.
On Tuesday, 28-year-old Monica Solis echoes that sentiment – her second attempt at testing that day – in line outside the Brooklyn Urgent Care Clinic. “The lines are a reminder that we’re still going through this and we don’t have a complete response yet,” she said.
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