New COVID Study Finds Testing Results are Coming Too Late to Help Slow the Coronavirus’ Spread.

August 16, 2020

The seventh survey conducted by the multi-university COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States, led in part by Shorenstein Center faculty Matthew Baum and Kennedy School Institute of Politics Polling Director John Della Volpe, reported that delays in COVID-19 test results mean the U.S. testing program has slowed down to the point where it is no longer helpful in fighting the pandemic’s spread.

Read the full report here.

And find interactive versions of the report charts, and all of the state-by-state data tables from the survey at CovidStates.org.

Although public health experts say testing for COVID-19 is a key factor of containing the spread of the virus, slow test results make contact tracing impractical and nearly impossible. The study found that 63 percent of people tested are not receiving their test results within the optimal one-to-two-day time frame and that the average waiting time for a test result is a little over four days. Along with this, the study showed 21 percent of individuals are receiving test results five+ days, old making the test results useless.