Duke working to meet demand for coronavirus testing
State health officials said Tuesday that about 1,100 tests for coronavirus have been completed in North Carolina so far, and thousands of samples are awaiting testing at a state lab and private labs.Posted — Updated
Yet, many people who meet the guidelines for testing are struggling to have one done.
Duke has sent hundreds of test samples to outside labs in recent days but plans to add in-house testing next week, he said. The hospital system is also testing drive-up options to collect samples from patients.
"Individual health systems are scrambling to get test supplies, collection kits, swabs – all of the above – and we're all competing for the same limited resources," he said.
Those supply chain challenges create a triage system for people who want to get tested.
Lack of planning contributed to the strain on the system now seen across the U.S., he said.
While countries like South Korea are testing some 20,000 people a day, dwarfing U.S. totals, Polage said he thinks the U.S. has been careful to have accurate tests before widely distributing them.
Polage couldn't provide an estimate of how many tests his lab would be able to handle each day, but the staff is considering putting a lower priority on other lab tests during the crisis.
"This has many layers, and we need to perform this test on hundreds of patients a day – 24 hours a day, every day of the week – and we need to get it right," he said.
Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.