Is Your State Doing Enough Coronavirus Testing?


The number of daily coronavirus tests being conducted in the United States is 65 percent of the level considered necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus, as many states struggle to increase testing.

10

states* meet the testing target

7

states are near the target

34

states are far below the target

AlaskaAla.Ark.Ariz.Calif.Colo.Conn.D.C.Del.Fla.Ga.HawaiiIowaIdahoIll.Ind.Kan.Ky.La.Mass.Md.MaineMich.Minn.Mo.Miss.Mont.N.C.N.D.Neb.N.H.N.J.N.M.Nev.N.Y.OhioOkla.Ore.Pa.R.I.S.C.S.D.Tenn.TexasUtahVa.Vt.Wash.Wis.W.Va.Wyo.

*Includes 9 states and Washington, D.C. States within 20 percent of the testing target are considered “near” the target.

An average of 962,000 tests per day were performed over the past week, according to data collected by the Covid Tracking Project, well below the current nationwide target of 1.5 million daily tests. The target, which is based on a methodology developed by researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute, is different for each state and varies over time as infection rates change.

The figures for some states, marked with an asterisk (*) below, indicate one test reported for each individual tested, even if that person is tested more than once. The figures for the other states indicate the total number of specimens tested, including when an individual is tested more than once, which can lead to higher reported test numbers and lower positivity rates. For states that report both individuals and specimens tested, the table below will eventually be updated to indicate specimens tested, as that is the more common metric reported by states.

How each state’s current testing measures up

Average daily testing and hospitalizations in the last two weeks

Daily tests
per 100,000

Daily tests
per 100k

Percentage of
testing target

Percentage
of target

Positive
test rate

Positive
rate

Hospitalized
per 100,000

Hospital
per 100k

United States
U.S.

65Target

65Target

5%
Iowa*
Iowa

14

14

18%
Idaho
Idaho

14

14

23%
Wisconsin*
Wis.

14

14

20%
South Dakota*
S.D.

14

14

23%
Wyoming*
Wyo.

18

18

19%
Nevada*
Nev.

18

18

15%
Kansas*
Kan.

19

19

16%
Indiana*
Ind.

20

20

14%
Nebraska*
Neb.

24

24

13%
Alabama
Ala.

24

24

13%
Florida*
Fla.

30

30

11%
Montana
Mont.

31

31

11%
Mississippi
Miss.

31

31

11%
Oklahoma
Okla.

33

33

8%
North Dakota
N.D.

33

33

8%
Utah*
Utah

35

35

15%
Arizona*
Ariz.

39

39

7%
Delaware*
Del.

40

40

6%
Missouri
Mo.

43

43

7%
Arkansas
Ark.

44

44

7%
North Carolina
N.C.

48

48

6%
Tennessee
Tenn.

49

49

7%
Oregon*
Ore.

51

51

6%
Pennsylvania*
Pa.

51

51

8%
Maryland
Md.

54

54

6%
Georgia
Ga.

55

55

6%
Texas
Texas

56

56

7%
South Carolina
S.C.

58

58

5%
Kentucky
Ky.

58

58

5%
Virginia
Va.

60

60

5%
Minnesota
Minn.

62

62

5%
New Mexico
N.M.

74

74

4%
Alaska
Alaska

74

74

4%
Illinois

Virginia governor critical of Trump’s coronavirus response in first appearance since testing positive

About 65 staff members who had close contact with the Northams were told to ­self-isolate for two weeks. Northam said none tested positive, which he called “a testament” to the value of wearing masks.

He noted that masks protected several staff members who could not physically distance from him before he tested positive, including a press secretary, photographer and security detail who traveled in an SUV and airplane with Northam.

He contrasted that with the largely mask-free Rose Garden ceremony last month that Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, has called a superspreader event. Trump, first lady Melania Trump and several others subsequently tested positive for the virus.

“No masks, no social distancing — and look at the number of people that tested positive,” Northam said Tuesday, referring to the White House event. “We talk about science, it doesn’t get any clearer than that . . . I would remind every Virginian: Masks are scientifically proven to reduce the spread of this disease, plain and simple.”

Northam, a former Army doctor and pediatrician, said his and his wife’s symptoms were mild. He warned Virginians not to let down their guard, particularly as cooler fall temperatures and shrinking daylight hours make outdoor socializing less appealing.

The governor said he is unlikely to ease pandemic-related restrictions in the near term. He acknowledged pressure to return to in-person education at public schools but urged continued caution.

“Numbers are going up in a number of states across this country, so we’re not out of the woods,” he said. “We’re nowhere close to being out of the woods.”

The greater Washington region on Tuesday reported 1,763 additional coronavirus cases and 20 deaths. Virginia added 1,235 cases and 11 deaths, Maryland added 482 cases and nine deaths, and the District added 46 cases and no deaths.

Virginia’s daily caseload was above its rolling seven-day average, lifting that number to 1,089 — the state’s highest daily average since Aug. 13.

The seven-day average in Northern Virginia rose Tuesday to 264 cases, a four-month high in the region.

Daily caseloads Tuesday in Maryland and the District were below their rolling seven-day averages. It’s the third consecutive day that both jurisdictions reported new infections at or below their recent average amid an uptick that began earlier this month.

The recent caseload rise across the region has coincided with the outbreak at the White House, although local health officials have said it’s unclear whether there’s a connection.

Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.

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Black Doctors Work to Make Coronavirus Testing More Equitable

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

When the coronavirus arrived in Philadelphia in March, Dr. Ala Stanford hunkered down at home with her husband and kids. A pediatric surgeon with a private practice, she has staff privileges at a few suburban Philadelphia hospitals. For weeks, most of her usual procedures and patient visits were canceled. So she found herself, like a lot of people, spending the days in her pajamas, glued to the TV.

And then, at the beginning of April, she started seeing media reports indicating that Black people were contracting the coronavirus and dying from COVID-19 at greater rates than other demographic groups.

“It just hit me like, what is going on?” said Stanford.

At the same time, she started hearing from Black friends who couldn’t get tested because they didn’t have a doctor’s referral or didn’t meet the testing criteria. In April, there were shortages of coronavirus tests in numerous locations across the country, but Stanford decided to call around to the hospitals where she works to learn more about why people were being turned away.

One explanation she heard was that a doctor had to sign on to be the “physician of record” for anyone seeking a test. In a siloed health system, it could be complicated to sort out the logistics of who would communicate test results to patients. And, in an effort to protect health care workers from being exposed to the virus, some test sites wouldn’t let people without cars simply walk up to the test site.

Stanford knew African Americans were less likely to have primary care physicians than white Americans, and more likely to rely on public transportation. She just couldn’t square all that with the disproportionate infection rates for Black people she was seeing on the news.

“All these reasons in my mind were barriers and excuses,” she said. “And, in essence, I decided in that moment we were going to test the city of Philadelphia.”



Dr Ala Stanford and her staff on duty a coronavirus testing site in Pennsylvania. Stanford created the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium and sends mobile test units into neighborhoods.

Black Philadelphians contract the coronavirus at a rate nearly twice that of their white counterparts. They also are more likely to have severe cases of the virus: African Americans make up 44% of Philadelphians but 55% of those hospitalized for COVID-19.

Black Philadelphians are more likely to work jobs that can’t be performed at home, putting them at a greater risk of exposure. In the city’s jails, sanitation and transportation departments, workers are predominantly Black, and as the pandemic progressed they contracted COVID-19 at high rates.

The increased severity of illness among African Americans may also be due in part to underlying health conditions more prevalent among Black people, but Stanford maintains that unequal access to health care is the greatest driver of the disparity.

“When an elderly funeral home director in West Philly tries to get tested

Dr. Scott Gottlieb says U.S. coronavirus testing must still improve

Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday the U.S. still needs to expand and improve its coronavirus testing and contact tracing to bring its epidemic under control — even if it will never be able to employ an operation as rigorous as China.

“We don’t need to have their level of surveillance state to have better testing and tracing in place, and we could be doing a lot better at calling on collective action for people to wear masks on a more routine basis,” Gottlieb said on “Squawk Box.”

The former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner pointed to recent developments in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao. After 12 cases were reported, the city now plans to test all 9 million residents over the next five days, according to the BBC.

“So they’ll manage to snuff out that outbreak,” said Gottlieb, who served in the Trump administration from May 2017 to April 2019. “We could never do that here. First of all, we don’t have the capacity to do it, and if we did, we’d never get anywhere near the compliance.”

Gottlieb has previously lamented the lack of coronavirus testing in the U.S. as the nation’s outbreak began to grow, causing significant uncertainty about where the virus was actually spreading in March and April. That made widespread stay-at-home orders the only choice to slow the transmission, he has contended.

U.S. testing capacity has expanded for the highly accurate lab-based PCR tests, even though there have been challenges with delayed results. Additionally, new rapid tests for the virus are coming onto the market, adding a layer to the public-health response.

The U.S. has conducted an average of 907,000 tests per day over the last 30 days, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the Covid Tracking Project, an independent volunteer organization launched by journalists at The Atlantic. In April, with much of the nation under lockdown, the daily average of tests was about 177,400.

The increases in testing can explain some of the growth in new daily U.S. coronavirus cases, which averaged almost 51,000 in the last seven days, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

However, Gottlieb still stresses the need for continued improvement to the nation’s response, telling CNBC last week that “having a raging epidemic is not inevitable.” He added, “The entire Pacific Rim has less than 1,000 infections a day,” referring to countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and Australia. 

On Monday, Gottlieb acknowledged there are differences between what can be done in the U.S. compared with an authoritarian country such as China, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year. “They’re doing testing and tracing very aggressively, probably more aggressively than we can because we’re just not going to surrender certain liberties,” he said.

In China, for example, government cameras were installed at the doors of people under a 14-day quarantine in order to make sure they don’t leave home, CNBC reported in March. Gottlieb also noted that other Asian countries use

China testing entire city after just 12 cases end COVID-free streak

Beijing — China’s 56-day coronavirus clean streak has been broken. Six people with symptoms and another six without any have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in one city, prompting a dramatic response.



a group of people standing in front of a bus: Medical workers in protective suits collect swabs for nucleic acid tests in Qingdao


© cnsphoto/STRINGER/REUTERS
Medical workers in protective suits collect swabs for nucleic acid tests in Qingdao

All of the cases are linked to a single hospital, the Qingdao Chest Hospital, in the city of Qingdao on China’s eastern coast. The city’s health commission posted the news to Chinese social media site Weibo, and the hospital, about 250 miles southeast of Beijing, has been closed.

Qingdao is home to about 9 million people, more than New York City and twice as many as Los Angeles, and authorities are now in the process of testing every single one of them. They’re determined to finish that process by the end of this week — a remarkable feat, but not unexpected in China. 

Sunday Journal: China emerges from the pandemic

UP NEXT

UP NEXT



a group of people standing in front of a bus: Medical workers in protective suits collect swabs for nucleic acid tests during city-wide testing following new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, October 12, 2020. / Credit: cnsphoto/STRINGER/REUTERS


© Provided by CBS News
Medical workers in protective suits collect swabs for nucleic acid tests during city-wide testing following new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, October 12, 2020. / Credit: cnsphoto/STRINGER/REUTERS

Photos and video making the rounds on both social and state-run media show citizens lining up to be tested.

Officials in Wuhan, which has a slightly larger population, said all of its citizens were tested in just 10 days earlier this year, when it tackled a resurgence of the virus.

For many, the news of new cases, even after almost two months without any, may come as little surprise. The entire country recently came back to work after an 8-day national holiday that saw millions of Chinese on the move.

It was the first major holiday since the coronavirus pandemic was brought under control here. Some 637 million trips were made over the National Day break. To put that in perspective, it’s almost equivalent to every single American doing two trips in the same time frame.



a man standing in front of a refrigerator: Alarming spike of COVID-19 cases across the U... 01:37


© Provided by CBS News
Alarming spike of COVID-19 cases across the U… 01:37

People bought out plane and train tickets and jammed highways to release pent-up frustration after being stuck at home for most of this year.

In the grand scheme of things the new cases in Qingdao are a small blip in China’s officially reported coronavirus numbers. The World Health Organization, which relies on data provided by the Chinese government, has recorded just over 91,000 COVID-19 infections in China, and fewer than 5,000 deaths.

Critics say China’s reported numbers are too low — likely a fair criticism in a country known to cover up bad news.

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China’s Qingdao orders city-wide testing after new COVID-19 infections

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese city of Qingdao said on Monday it will test its entire population of more than 9 million people for coronavirus, after discovering 12 new infections that appeared to be linked to a hospital treating imported infections.

Daily COVID-19 infections in mainland China have fallen drastically since early in the outbreak, which first emerged in the city of Wuhan. China had reported no new domestically transmitted cases since early August, but has remained on high alert.

Qingdao reported a total of six new COVID-19 cases and six asymptomatic infections on Sunday, all linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital, where infected travellers arriving from overseas have been treated in an isolated area.

The specific source of infection was still under investigation, the city government said on Sunday.

The testing would cover the city in five days, the city said.

The new cases were all of current or former patients in Qingdao Chest Hospital, hospital staff, or their family members. One asymptomatic case was a taxi driver whose wife worked at the hospital and was also infected.

Qingdao said it has locked down the Qingdao Chest Hospital as well as the emergency department of its central hospital, which the taxi driver visited. Buildings housing infected individuals have also been locked down as part of the city’s virus containment measures.

The new infections emerged shortly after China completed its Golden Week holiday, during which millions of people travelled domestically.

Disease control authorities in several cities including Beijing advised residents to avoid unnecessary trips to Qingdao. An investment and trade expo in Qingdao organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 16-18 was postponed, state TV reported.

Qingdao’s mass testing campaign is not China’s first. Wuhan tested its entire population, and mass schemes involving several million samples have also been conducted in Beijing and Urumqi.

The National Health Commission’s daily tally reported 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases, but none in Qingdao were included. The number of new nationwide asymptomatic cases, which China counts separately from confirmed cases, rose to 32 from 23 a day earlier, the NHC said. It did not offer a breakdown on where the new asymptomatic cases were reported, although it said 29 were imported.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stand at 85,578. The death toll remains at 4,634.

(Reporting by Winni Zhou, Jing Wang and Engen Tham in Shanghai and Roxanne Liu in Beijing; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Michael Perry and Tom Hogue)

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WilCo Opens Coronavirus Testing Site In Georgetown

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX — Williamson County health district officials on Wednesday announced the opening of a new COVID-19 testing site in Georgetown.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District is partnering with the Texas Department of Emergency Management and the City of Georgetown to open the COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot north of the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., starting Friday. The walk-up site will operate seven days per week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“With the potential for an increase in COVID-19 cases this fall, testing is an important way for residents to find out if they have the virus,” Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said in a prepared statement. “We really appreciate the Health District and the state for staffing this convenient, free testing site in Georgetown that will be available every day of the week.”

Registration is required before visiting the testing booth. Pre-registered participants will be given a test kit, asked to self-administer the oral fluid swab kit on-site, then return the kit to the testing booth staff. Test results are typically returned within 48 hours.

“We’re working closely with our partners to ensure the availability of testing as well as quick turnaround times for results,” Williamson County and Cities Health District Executive Director Derrick Neal said in a prepared statement. “We are determined to support safer, healthier communities by providing access to anyone who wishes to be tested for COVID-19.”

The testing is free for all ages and is open to anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the virus recently, or who is experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

To complete the required pre-registration visit the Curative COVID-19 Detection portal. For more information on COVID-19, visit the Williamson County and Cities Health District website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention homepage.

This article originally appeared on the Cedar Park-Leander Patch

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Rapid COVID Testing Coming To Airport Near You, XpresCheck Test Could Boost Air Travel

KEY POINTS

  • XpresCheck rapid COVID tests began at JFK and Liberty airports Wednesday
  • The company hopes to expand nationwide
  • The test delivers results in 13 minutes

The airline industry, devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, is about to get a boost: Health and wellness company XpresSpa Group Inc. began conducting rapid COVID-19 testing at Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, with plans to expand the program nationwide.

With the pandemic still raging across the United States, Americans have been reluctant to get on airplanes, with the total number of passengers averaging about 25% of last year’s levels.

More than 7.5 million Americans have been infected by the coronavirus and more than 211,000 have died from COVID-19.

Though the virus doesn’t spread easily on flights because of air circulation systems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns exposure to people in close quarters and frequently touched services put travelers at increased risk. The CDC estimated last month 11,000 people potentially had been exposed to the virus on flights.

XpresSpa began performing its ExpresCheck rapid COVID-19 tests Wednesday, expanding its polymerase chain reaction and blood antibody testing programs.

“We believe rapid COVID-19 testing at airports can play a major role in slowing the virus spread and decreasing the risk of new community outbreaks linked to travel as cases continue to rise throughout many states,” XpresSpa CEO Doug Satzman said in a press release.

He added: “Having a rapid test inside the airport immediately upon travel could also eliminate the need for a full 14-day quarantine in states where that applies.”

The tests would be voluntary for both travelers and airport workers. The company currently is focusing on airline employees and those who are showing COVID-like symptoms.

The test uses Abbott’s portable rapid molecular ID Now COVID test, which delivers results in 13 minutes. The test, however, has yet to gain full Food and Drug Administration approval although it has been cleared for emergency use, and has been criticized for false negatives, which are possible until an infection has reached its height and depending on how the test is performed.

Even with rapid COVID-19 tests available, travelers would still need to wear masks and practice social distancing.

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UK’s COVID-19 Testing System Hit by Roche Supply Problems | World News

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s COVID-19 testing system, already struggling with a surge in new cases, was facing fresh disruption on Wednesday after Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche

said problems at a new warehouse had delayed the dispatch of some products.

Roche is one of the main suppliers of diagnostic tests to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace programme, which only days ago was hit by a technical glitch that delayed the reporting of 15,000 positive results.

Roche said the delay in dispatching some of its diagnostic products to the NHS was caused by unforeseen problems that arose during a switch from an old warehouse to a new UK distribution centre in September.

“We deeply regret that there has been a delay in the dispatch of some products and apologise to any of our customers who have been impacted,” Roche said in a statement.

“We are prioritising the dispatch of COVID-19 PCR and antibody tests and doing everything we can to ensure there is no impact on the supply of these to the NHS,” the company added, without specifying whether other products were affected.

Allan Wilson, president of Britain’s Institute of Biomedical Science, said Roche was a major supplier of materials such as reagents needed for routine blood tests, coagulation tests and in cancer diagnostics, as well as COVID-related materials.

“So it’s fair to say that laboratories are already running into supply problems,” Wilson said during an interview on BBC Radio 4. “We’re being very innovative in what we do, and we’re moving stuff around between laboratories, within the NHS, to make sure that all critical tests are fulfilled.”

Wilson said materials would be rationed when appropriate and the NHS was working closely with Roche to try and plug any gaps in the testing pathway.

Roche said staff at the new facility were working day and night to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and that extra staff had been recruited to help.

The timing of Roche’s problems could hardly be worse for Britain, which has seen a surge in new coronavirus infections in September and the testing system struggling to meet demand.

Wilson said a significant drop in Roche’s capacity could potentially have a major impact on NHS Test and Trace.

“The key to this, we’re not sure the duration of this, we’re hearing days or weeks. If it’s days, it will probably have minimal impact, but if it’s weeks, then yes, that could have a considerable impact on our ability to deliver tests across the whole gambit of diagnostic tests in the UK,” he said.

Trade minister Liz Truss said the problem did not appear to be causing delays in the Test and Trace programme at this point.

“There’s no evidence that those tests have been delayed,” Truss told Sky News.

However, British media reported the problem was already causing disruption, with hospital managers unsure whether expected deliveries of swabs and reagents would materialise.

The BBC quoted Tom Lewis, lead clinician for pathology at North Devon District

The Virus Surges in North Dakota, Filling Hospitals and Testing Attitudes

Around Bismarck, there is a range of responses to the virus; but people are generally left to make their own choices about the potential risks. Some cafes are bursting with maskless patrons and workers. Other businesses have limited their capacities. Around half of the customers in Al’s Barber Shop, near one of the city’s hospitals, wear a mask, Travis Zenker, the owner, said.

All of it should be a personal choice, said Wanda Serr, owner of Little Cottage Cafe, a popular diner where workers do not wear masks.

“If you feel safe, go out and do what you do; if you don’t feel safe, it’s your right to stay home,” she said.

As cases have risen, some officials have tried to press for county-level mask requirements.

“I feel like I’m powerless,” said Renae Moch, public health director for Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health, who said she received insulting and threatening emails and Facebook messages for suggesting that the county set a mandate.

Miles from Bismarck, smaller communities have long turned to city hospitals to handle cases they do not have capacity to manage, but that is shifting.

“In the past two weeks, my ability to send people to Fargo or to Bismarck has been nonexistent,” Dr. Sarah Newton of Linton Hospital, a facility in Emmons County, told her City Council last week.

Emmons County is dealing with the state’s worst level of infections per capita, and Linton Hospital has been completely full. Dr. Newton described spending hours calling around the state for a patient who needed emergency heart surgery. A bed finally opened in Fargo.

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