Lag COVID-19 Test Results Presents Challenges

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Allegheny County’s coronavirus cases may be on the decline, but officials say calculating the positivity rate is challenging.

The county reported 70 new cases on Wednesday out of more than 1,200 tests, but those tests date back up to three weeks.

The positivity rate appears to be down but Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald tells KDKA Radio,“ some of July numbers lag and that’s what they see so there’s a mix in there, some of them are older tests.”

Fitzgerald adds Pittsburgh area hospitals are able to see results in less than 48 hours, but other national laboratories are having a hard time keeping up with tests. He says his daughter took a test at a national drug store chain and didn’t get results for 21 days.

Fitzgerald says a national testing plan needs to be put in place by the federal government and that it should’ve been done back during the beginning of the pandemic.

 That makes relying on comprehensive date is tricky for schools and businesses looking to reopen.

“Until there is a vaccine or a cure, this isn’t going to end,” said Fitzgerald.

As schools prepare to reopen for the fall, Fitzgerald has a warning.

“We really need the kids and when I say kids I mean from Kindergarten on up to university students, wear your mask, use your distancing because we don’t want to have to shut down schools,” said Fitzgerald.

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