State clears its backlog of nearly 300,000 coronavirus tests

Clinica de la Raza staff members administer Covid-19 tests in Oakland. Photo by Jane Tyska, Bay Area News Group

California has finally cleared its backlog of nearly 300,000 coronavirus tests — and the state’s two-week positivity rate fell from 7% to 6.2%, Newsom said Friday. Hospitalizations declined by 30% and intensive-care admissions by 20% over the same period, CalMatters’ tracker shows.

Nevertheless, challenges remain: The state’s death toll crossed 11,000 Friday, and over 600,000 people have tested positive for the virus — more than any other state.

And a recent Desert Sun investigation found that it takes 94% of California counties took more than two days to turn around coronavirus test results and 58% up to a week, which means “you’ve lost that window to have the test serve its purpose,” a Harvard health policy professor said. “It’s an interesting footnote historically but has no role anymore for preventing further spread.”

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