Turnaround times for coronavirus tests are still taking far too long in many cases, but officials are pushing hard to get the results out faster, and Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, who is overseeing the U.S. testing efforts, said Sunday he will "never be happy" until the testing is under control.
"We are not going to stop our efforts until testing is exactly where we want it to be with rapid turnaround times," Giroir said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We have done over 54 million tests, 770,000 a day. That's a 140 fold increase."
Out of those, one-quarter of the tests are done as point of care, said Giroir, and result in a 15-minute turnaround. Another quarter of the tests are done at local hospitals and laboratories, which generally have a 24-hour turnaround.
"You will see a large investment being announced later on today to improve the supply chain so we are all working to improve testing," said Giroir. "This is an unprecedented demand."
The most delays are coming from the large commercial labs that perform about half the testing in the country, he added.
Meanwhile, there are people who "throw out" numbers about how many tests are needed, and work has been done to activate university laboratories and even veterinary labs to process the tests that are coming in, said Giroir.
"We want to improve the testing but we have enough testing if we use them in the right way to achieve the goals we need to achieve," said Giroir.
"What is true now is anyone who needs a test can get a test," said Giroir. "We have a large increase in the numbers of people wearing masks, closed indoor bars in the local areas. But let me be clear, we have to prioritize our testing."
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