Lagging labs: Commercial laboratories like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp have warned that their turnaround times for test results are rising due to a surge in demand. Earlier this week, Quest said that it now needs an average of 3-5 days to produce results on non-priority samples, up from 2-3 days.
What’s next: Giroir emphasized that young adults, who account for the majority of new cases, must be vigilant about practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. The Department of Health and Human Services is developing plans to implement surge testing in moderate-sized communities of high concern in Texas, Florida and Louisiana, to try to bring the outbreaks in those areas under control.
“A blitz of testing over a few days could help to identify a lot of the under 35-year-old asymptomatics that may be spreading the virus,” Giroir said. “When you have a lot of younger people who are asymptomatic, particularly in an outbreak situation, it is much harder, not impossible, but much harder to contact trace.”