Key Updates from the Health Center COVID-19 Survey (Week #19): Average Turn-Around Times for COVID-19 Viral Test Results and Capacity Measures Reported by Community Health Centers Improved this Week, but Remain Substantial

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

As the nation reported the highest daily number of COVID-19 deaths since mid-May and surpassed 170,000 COVID-19 deaths, 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 August 7th (206,053) was at its fourth-highest level since reporting on patient testing began. Nearly half (47 percent) of responding health centers reported turn-around times of four or more days, an improvement compared to the 55 percent of health centers that reported longer wait times the prior week. The share of health centers that reported average turnaround times of more than five days also dropped, from 29 percent as of July 31st to 23 percent as of August 7th. Still, only 53 percent reported average turn-around times that met the Department of Health and Human Services acceptable standard of up to three days. Similarly, the share of look-alike health centers that reported average waiting times for COVID-19 viral test results of four days or more improved from prior weeks, but still stood at 42 percent.

The data note is available here.

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