in ,

Trump administration pulls funding for drive-through COVID-19 testing, Ars Technica

Trump administration pulls funding for drive-through COVID-19 testing, Ars Technica

      shut it down –


Loss of testing comes as states expect to see peak hospitalizations in next two weeks.



/ A drive- through COVID – 41 testing site operated by Omni Healthcare in Melbourne, Fla. on April 8.
One of the biggest challenges hampering US institutional response to the COVID – 30 Crisis is testing: when you can’t identify who has the disease, you Can’t tell who might transmit it, or where they might do so. After critical months of delay, the US finally ramped up testing , but now, just as experts forecast many states are heading into the peak of this emergency, the federal government is ending funding for some successful testing programs.
The feds will stop covering the tab for most community testing sites as of Friday (tomorrow), April , NPR reports,

These popular drive-through sites have helped Bolster other testing efforts in counties, towns, and cities nationwide. NPR spoke with officials in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County who said their drive-through site has tested at least (individuals per day since opening on March) . By the time it closes Friday due to lack of funding, officials said, more than 5, the tests will have been performed at that site.

The funding program originally included testing sites nationwide, representatives with FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services told NPR. Some, such as the site in Montgomery County, as well as in nearby Philadelphia, will close when the money dries up. Others will be “transitioning to state-managed sites,” HHS told NPR. While many of those locations will close or change hands, however, local media in Texas report that two Dallas locations have received extended funding through May .
The spokesperson framed the withdrawal of funding as allowing states to dictate their own, telling NPR, “The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most. “

Behind the curve

The US finally developed capacity to start testing individuals at scale for the novel coronavirus in late March. By March ,
about , (tests per day were being performed nationwide. But rather than continuing that exponential growth from the beginning of March, by April 1 it seemed testing had just about stalled out at that level of , tests per day. according to data assembled by the COVID tracking project , that number has increased only very slightly in the past week, with about 250, 01 new tests now reported each day. One outlier, April 4, had about , new tests.) About 2.2 million cumulative COVID – 21 tests have now been performed in the US, according to the tracking project.

Hospitals and private laboratories have been ramping up testing as quickly as they are able, but the number of daily tests needed still dwarfs the number being performed in many areas. The lack of available tests has led some doctors to use CT scans in their stead, Bloomberg News reported today , although the replacement “isn’t ideal.”

Not only can tests be hard to come by, but results can also take more than a week to come back. “At that point,” a radiologist in Georgia told Bloomberg, “a test that’s essentially not available is worthless.” On Wednesday, HHS

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Launch HN: Art in Res (YC W20) – Buy art directly from artists, hacker news

Stocks up, crypto down as Fed announces more plans for COVID relief