RALEIGH – Testing for coronavirus may finally be getting up to speed. One of the highest profile bottlenecks creating concern and frustration during the emergence of the Wuhan Coronavirus in the United States has been the slow roll out and availability tests for the virus. Despite what the Trump-hating media wold have you believe, the delays were caused by the high false positive/negative rates of original tests. As high as 30-40 percent.
The Trump administration and health officials insisted that any test for SARS-CoV2 have an accuracy that can inspire confidence, not more fear and confusion.
Now that they’ve achieved acceptable accuracy levels and refined the test procedures and processing, we’re getting news from LabCorp that they can now process up to 20,000 tests PER DAY.
From the LabCorp press release:
“LabCorp announced that it will be able to perform more than 20,000 COVID-19 tests per day beginning Friday, March 20, ahead of its original schedule. This represents a significant increase in capacity since the company released its COVID-19 test two weeks ago. The company is working continuously to increase capacity and support the needs of healthcare workers, patients, government, clients and other organizations, and expects capacity to continue to increase.
The company is intently focused on making COVID-19 laboratory testing available to patients who are symptomatic and should be tested. LabCorp has moved quickly to significantly increase its testing capacity by adding staff, equipment and more high-throughput testing now underway as a result of approved emergency use authorization (EUAs). LabCorp is now performing COVID-19 testing at its labs in Phoenix, Ariz., Burlington, N.C., and Raritan, N.J. […]”
Having such high throughput capabilities at medical laboratories with testing sites right here in North Carolina, like LabCorp and homegrown companies like Mako Medical, is a welcome sign, as new and efficient methods of collecting samples for testing are rolled out and waves of samples roll in.
However, the ability to collect and analyze samples so quickly, will inevitably accelerate the official infection numbers in North Carolina and elsewhere. On the surface that may create more alarm, but ultimately leads to a more accurate picture of the challenge we face and, therefore, a more confident approach to solutions. Uncertainty is one of the biggest X factors, and this helps to reduce that uncertainty in a big way.