For Now, Georgia Coronavirus Testing Outpaces Labs
As Georgia continues to ramp up coronavirus testing, it has hit a roadblock: the pace of testing has outrun state lab capacity.
The state saw it coming right from the start of the push by the Georgia National Guard to turbo charge the state’s testing system.
“My goal is to drive it until the system breaks,” said Georgia National Guard Adjutant Gen. Thomas Carden in an April 20 press conference.
Then he made a prediction.
“I think the next place the supply line will break is lab capacity,” Carden said.
After about 14,000 new tests, it turns out Carden was right. In Macon, about 100 people were promised test results from Augusta University in three days. They waited a week. Media reports paint a similar picture from test sites in Atlanta.
Chief Medical Officer at Augusta University Dr. Phillip Coule said a one-week backlog in lab work means the Guard has been asked to put the brakes on their mobile testing.
“Because the frustration created by delayed results is something we want to avoid,” Coule said.
Coule said some after some procedural changes the logjam should break in the next few days as lab capacity is added.
Then testing will resume.