COVID-19 testing protocol changes, raising concerns about tracking virus in NC
The COVID-19 testing protocol in North Carolina changed to eliminate those people with mild symptoms. The state says it's following federal guidelines to prioritize who gets tested to include the sickest patients, medical providers and people in at-risk groups. The concern for many, though, is having only a three-week snapshot of the virus' spread since the first patient was diagnosed in Wake County.
TO THE HOUSE TO GET BACK TO HIS DESK FOR HIS SIGNATURE. BACK TO YOU. >> THANK YOU. >>> THE TESTING PROTOCOL CHANGED TO ELIMINATE THOSE PEOPLE WITH MILD SYMPTOMS. THE NUMBER OF TESTS STATE WIDE INCREASED OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS. NEARLY 2000 TESTS WERE COMPLETED. WE HAVE HEARD FROM YOU ABOUT THE CHANGING TACTICS AND CONTINUE TO PRESS LEADERS FOR AN EXCLAMATION. GERALD OLIN IS HERE NOW WHAT THE ANSWER IS. >> Reporter: THE STATE SAYS IS FOLLOWING FEDERAL GUIDELINES TO INCLUDE THE SECOND PATIENTS, MEDICAL PROVIDERS, AND THE ELDERLY. THE CONCERN FOR MANY PEOPLE IS WE ONLY HAVE A THREE-WEEK SNAPSHOT OF THE SPREAD SINCE THE FIRST PATIENT WAS IDENTIFIED IN WAKE COUNTY. THE STATE LAB HAS ONLY CONDUCTED ABOUT 1000 TESTS BECAUSE THE STATE RECEIVED INCOMPLETE SUPPLIES FROM THE CDC. TESTING LIKE THIS AT THE UNC LAB, THE LAB HAS ENOUGH SUPPLIES TO CONDUCT 1200 TESTS. THAT IS NOT JUST FOR NEW PATIENTS. IT IS ALSO FOR FOLLOW-UP TESTING. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LABS ARE CONDUCTING MOST OF THE WORK AND NORTH CAROLINA. WHEN WE ASKED THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES IF IT WAS DONE OF NECESSITY TERRY, BECAUSE OF A LACK OF TESTING, SHE SAYS THE STATE WAS FOLLOWING CDC GUIDANCE. GOVERNOR ROY COOPER SAYS THE SUPPLIES ARE STILL AN ISSUE. THE GOVERNOR ALSO SAID THE STATE WANTS TO DO MORE TESTING TO GET A BETTER IDEA OF THE SPREAD BUT TESTING SUPPLIES AND