Q&A of the Day – How long it’s taking to get test results in Florida

Q&A of the Day – How long it’s taking to get COVID-19 test results in Florida

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: I’m just curious when these tests were taken that we are getting results from.

Bottom Line: This question is in reference to my daily Florida update story discussing the latest case information and it’s a really good one. This is very much a case of, it depends...for multiple reasons.It also raises an important point about where it’s best to be tested. We have different types of test kits being used and different types of processing taking place.

There’s been a vast difference in the processing time between the state operated testing sites and private processing. The state operated facilities have been consistently producing results in under two days. The average time for private processing from labs like Quest Diagnostics and Lab Corp have ballooned eight days. So first, if you’re looking to be tested, it’s definitely best if you can schedule an appointment with one of the state operated testing sites. As for the timeline of the test results...

  • 17% of all tests have been conducted at state operated facilities with average estimated turnaround time of 36 hours.
  • 83% have occurred at private labs with an average turnaround time of seven days.

Put it altogether and you get an average turnaround time has been about 5 days. In reality, the updates we receive and interprets new information, are really reflections of where we were days ago. That’s surely part of what weighs on the minds of healthcare experts and officials pressed to act on their recommendations. While the longer-range projections are just educated guesses, what they’re looking at today is highly projectible over the next week. That’s probably why the mood and actions of public officials at any given time may seem more severe than what the numbers might currently suggest. Context is always key in discussing information like this – especially when there’s a constantly moving target.

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