Access to proven COVID-19 tests no small task

The first response of the world to COVID-19 naturally involved confusion followed quickly by an apparent lack of testing resources. In the quest to deal with the spread of the virus, detecting and testing served as the target method to pinpoint and contain outbreaks through contagious individuals.

For professional and social life to resume, there needed to be rapid access to proven COVID-19 tests which was no small task given we were essentially dealing with the unknown.

For professional and social life to resume, there would need to be rapid access to proven COVID-19 tests which was no small task given we were essentially dealing with the unknown. Initially, as it turned out, the restrictions and criteria to qualify for a test were far too many. Before the mayhem and fear of infections began to unfold, medical professionals were already overwhelmed in some densely populated areas.

Testing capacity

Although the current capacity to conduct tests is significantly higher than the start, it is still not enough to minimize the spread of the virus. In fact, medical experts insist that there are not enough tests to conduct and reopen capital markets soon.

Apart from the sufficiency of coronavirus testing, there may be too much emphasis placed on optimized speed rather than the overall quality of testing kits. Simply put, the testing pace is not moving quickly enough to meet the continuous surge in cases, but accuracy must not be overlooked in an attempt to remedy the problem.

Apart from the sufficiency of coronavirus testing, there may be too much emphases placed on optimized speed rather than the overall quality of testing kits.

Average delays in testing

Anecdotally, there have been numerous testing delays throughout the US since the inception of the pandemic. Previously, people had to wait for days or weeks to receive their COVID-19 test results. Furthermore, the long-standing lines should not be the norm if we hope to manage this pandemic properly. It is no wonder that medical labs across the country have warned about the low average of daily tests.

Another month, another criterion

Moreover, only a few states meet the official criteria to reopen the economy at the moment. Mainly, it has to do with poor testing metrics. In fact, the positive rate is growing exponentially in some states and they should be under the testing spotlight to receive the help they need.

Focus on contact tracing

If states want to achieve a lower positive rate, there has to be more detecting and testing through contact tracing even for individuals who do not show any COVID-19 symptoms. So far, the high positive rate highlights that only individuals who develop the obvious symptoms are getting coronavirus tests.

Both the scientific and medical community struggle to measure the real score of the COVID-19 outbreak. Currently, the positive rate is around 5% in the US, which suggests that testing capacity is not sufficient to meet the pandemic spread.

Whether its insufficient swabs to gather samples or some other supply shortage resulting in a lack of test kits, these hurdles must be fixed fast and at scale.

The obvious need for extensive testing

Delays in the past to conduct more tests cannot remain the standard. Despite testing kits’ unavailability, people are optimistic about getting tested without too much effort in the foreseeable future.

The sooner official entities act on massive testing, the quicker they can achieve COVID-19 preventative goals. Early on, many testing issues were associated with supply chain inconsistencies. Whether its insufficient swabs to gather samples or some other supply shortage resulting in a lack of test kits, these hurdles must be fixed fast and at scale.

As one would expect, asymptomatic individuals will continue to spread this pandemic completely unaware that they are putting the general population and loved ones at risk.

Final thoughts at the time of writing

With lives on the line, these issue will certainly continue to persist without rigorous detection and testing initiatives to control the coronavirus outbreak. As all news outlets repeatedly report, testing is vital to flattening the curve and allowing medical communities and official authorities enough time to roll out an efficient testing process in addition to stocking up on critical supplies to meet the extreme challenges of this frightening virus.

In addition, a much more rigorous system of contact tracing is badly needed. As one would expect, asymptomatic individuals will continue to spread this pandemic completely unaware that they are putting the general population and loved ones at risk. For now, disseminating our current scientific understanding of what we do know about COVID while rolling out a national, streamlined testing process is our highest priority.