Covid-19 Testing Demand Surges Again, From Thanksgiving Travelers and Rising Infections - (The Wall Street Journal via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Rising COVID-19 cases in the US and heavy demand for testing ahead of Thanksgiving are leading to longer wait times for testing, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

  • LabCorp, whose labs process molecular PCR diagnostic tests for COVID-19 in the US, said on Friday it can process 250,000 tests a day, adding that turnaround time "remains strong," at about one to two days, up slightly from earlier in the fall but still under the four-day peak in July.

  • Meanwhile, Quest Diagnostics said recently that the turnaround time for COVID-19 tests processed in their labs is now more than two days.

  • According to the Health and Human Services Department, the average turnaround time for tests sent to commercial labs in the US is currently 1.92 days compared with 1.68 days in October and 2.32 days in August.

  • The Trump administration has distributed 63 million of 150 million rapid antigen tests it purchased from Abbott, in addition to other new rapid-test programmes, said Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for HHS.

  • HHS has said the US has 120 million to 145 million diagnostic tests available this month, including a mix of the lab-based PCR tests and rapid antigen tests.

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