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US Lags in Coronavirus Testing After Slow Response to Outbreak

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Photo of paramedics testing samples taken from patients suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus
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Coronavirus testing data has been spotty and not easily available, especially in the United States. Based on official government sources, here’s how testing efforts in the United States compare with those in Italy and South Korea.
Delays in testing in the United States have set back the nation’s response to the pandemic, even though its first case was discovered around the same time that South Korea’s was. But part of the problem in the United States has also been gaps created by the way the state and federal agencies report the data.
An internet community effort, called the COVID Tracking Project, is attempting to provide a fuller picture of testing in the United States. According to the tracker — which collects information directly from state health departments, local news reports and live news conferences — at least 41,000 people have been tested in the United States, much higher than official C.D.C. figures.
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