Testing has been and remains an important part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is not the entire answer, says Dr. Charissa Fotinos, deputy director of the Washington State Health Care Authority and the state’s leader on COVID-19 testing.
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In a briefing with state health officials Wednesday, Dr. Fotinos urged everyone to heed social distancing measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue to limit gatherings.
“That said, we continue to see an increase in testing above our prior numbers,” she said.
On average, Fotinos says there are about 22,000-24,000 tests being done per day statewide. That number does not include antigen tests, which are reported separately. With the increase in testing, there has been an increase in the positivity rate as well, Fotinos added.
Some testing sites, in Seattle and elsewhere, have reported longer wait times, but Fotinos says that turnaround times are still under or near two days, including for the national commercial labs. She is not aware of any bottlenecks or major delays, only mentioning that some skilled nursing facilities have expressed that they are struggling to keep the number of tests they need for routine checks, but the Washington State Department of Health has plans to help.
Knowing that there is a high demand for COVID testing, one reporter asked about the state’s testing strategy moving forward and if there are enough supplies and capacity to increase testing?
Fotinos admitted her answer may be unsatisfactory in that

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