Coronavirus: Test turnaround times lengthen in England

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Government says there is high demand for coronavirus testing


People using community coronavirus testing centers in England are waiting longer for their results, figures show.

Only a third of tests performed at community locations were returned within 24 hours of the week through September 9.

That’s down from two-thirds the week before, NHS Test and Trace said.

Access to community testing has had to be rationed as labs struggle to keep up with demand, but it’s the first evidence tests that take longer to process.

There are three types of community testing centers: drive-thru, walk-in centers, and mobile units that are deployed in hotspot areas.

All three saws get up on time.

  • Average times for regional drive-thru centers increased from 20 to 27 hours, with 38% returned within 24 hours
  • For local walk-in centers, the average was 35 hours, with only one in five results delivered within 24 hours
  • The mobile units performed better with an average of 26 hours, compared to 19 the previous week. About 38% of the results were given within 24 hours.

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