Number of U.S. Virus Tests Plummeted 30 Percent Last Week, Says Report
WHAT’S THE HOLDUP?
New infections of the novel coronavirus are still surging across the U.S.—but the number of tests being analyzed in commercial labs appears to have taken a sharp and unexplained decline. Politico reports the number of virus tests being checked each day in commercial labs in the U.S. plummeted by more than 30 percent over the past week. The labs have reportedly said they’re now waiting for new samples to arrive after experiencing weeks of overwhelming demand. One reason for the dropoff could be the strict testing criteria that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last changed in March. Those guidelines prioritize patients in hospitals, health-care workers, and people who are particularly vulnerable to the disease. It could be the case that demand among those groups has peaked. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told Politico that the Trump administration is considering a loosening of testing criteria to open it up. Meanwhile, the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti has announced that, due to increased testing capacity, any residents with coronavirus symptoms can now book a same- or next-day appointment for a test.