We are doing the testing. That’s the good news.
On the flip side, many of the test results are pending. The COVID Tracking Project gives California a B grade for its efforts.
‘Huge’ Number of Pending Tests
The COVID Tracking Project involves more than 100 volunteer data-grabbers, journalists, scientists, visualization specialists, designers, project managers, and many others.
“California has shown a huge number of pending tests, ” the project says.
According to the data, California had 59,500 pending tests as of Thursday. That was an increase from 57,400 on Wednesday.
“The state has been inconsistent in its timing of reporting, so we used faster updating sources until (April 1), when we standardized on California’s new data dashboards. This led to a drop in cases and deaths, as the state’s data lags some other sources,” the project stated.
Here is the interactive dashboard the project put together for California.
Fresno County Test Results Often Delayed
Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County interim health officer, held a teleconference with reporters on Wednesday and was asked about COVID-19 test kits.
“Again, a source of constant frustration for us. What we’ve been told is that some of these tests are taking sometimes nine or even 14 days to come back. That’s really rare. Actually, that’s not every single test. Most tests are taking somewhere between three and six days to result. But we do hear about these extraordinary long delay times, which obviously no one is happy about,” Vohra said.
Fresno County Residents Tested, But Few Results Reported
Vohra said that it’s difficult for the county to present a true picture of the situation in Fresno County because many different labs are doing the testing.
“A lot of people have asked, have been asking about our test capacity and also just the numbers of positives and negative tests, and I have to admit this is a little bit of a chaotic picture, because we definitely find out about all the positive tests,” Vohra said. “We don’t always find out about all the negative tests that are being conducted by a number of the different private labs, as well as universities and academic centers that are better working with our county partners.
“We know that there’s hundreds and possibly even thousands of more negative tests that have been conducted that we’re not able to capture in real-time. We’re working on that,” Vohra said.
Will California’s Testing Situation Improve?
Time Magazine just reported on California’s test kit frustration.
“The backlogs are not necessarily getting better, in real-time, but we’re hopeful,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.
Newsom said it is a national problem — as is the shortage of tests and a lack of the masks, gloves and other protection healthcare workers must wear to administer tests from people who are possibly carrying the highly contagious virus.
“The state may be able to fast-track test results as more people receive blood-based tests,” Newsom said. “Testing that relies on taking nasal swabs, the most prominent initial testing measure, is primarily responsible for delays.”