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Should we be testing fewer people to stop the spread of #covid19?

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Although some #covid19 results can be delivered within hours, 10-day wait times are not unusual for results from the most common test — the kind that uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to look for an active infection — when patients who are not isolating can go on to infect others. While testing failures have been a blight on the US response since the beginning of the pandemic, the latest delays reveal a strikingly uneven system that hasn’t been able to scale up to meet spiking demand, hindering efforts to stop the virus’s spread.

To understand what’s behind the disastrous delays in #covid19 test results, it helps to look first at the labs, which are struggling to maintain adequate levels of basic testing supplies, much as they did earlier in the pandemic.

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