More than 30 million COVID-19 samples have passed through commercial labs since the federal government in late February gave those labs the green light to process COVID tests. Earlier this year, hospitals sent coronavirus lab tests to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and other public labs, but they faced obstacles in handling the level of mass testing required.
During the first several months of COVID-19, 60% of labs provided testing for the disease, according to HIDA’s 2020 Lab Market Report. Due to product shortages with overseas suppliers and skyrocketing demand, labs had difficulty acquiring products needed for testing.
It’s also been a challenge getting those tests quickly processed, which is a key factor in helping stop the disease’s spread. According to a recent report from researchers working together at several U.S. universities, in mid-July about 37% of tests around the country came back in one or two days. Twenty-one percent took three days, 29% took four to seven days and the remaining 13% took more than a week.