Key Updates from the Health Center COVID-19 Survey (Week #18): Average Turn-Around Times for COVID-19 Viral Test Results Reported by Community Health Centers Improved this Week, but More Than Half Still Experienced Long Waits

By Jessica Sharac, James Hernandez, Maria Velasquez, Peter Shin, Feygele Jacobs

With more than five million coronavirus cases now recorded nationwide, the latest Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) COVID-19 weekly survey summary shows that the number of COVID-19 viral tests conducted by health centers as of July 31st (208,219) was at its third-highest level since reporting on patient testing began. Over half (55 percent) of responding health centers reported turn-around times of four or more days, an improvement compared to the 66 percent of health centers that reported longer wait times the prior two weeks. The share of health centers that reported average turn-around times of more than five days also dropped, from 39 percent as of July 24th to 29 percent as of July 31st. Still, only 45 percent reported average turn-around times that met the Department of Health and Human Services acceptable standard of up to three days. Similarly, more than half (58 percent) of look-alike health centers reported average waiting times for COVID-19 viral test results of four days or more.

The data note is available here.

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