Is Alabama doing enough COVID-19 testing?
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama is listed as "far below" the target number of testing to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to a recent article published in the New York Times.
Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said the state's goal was to test about 2% of the population per month.
And we're actually there.
Dr. Landers agreed that there is a need for more testing, but said there are challenges.
The Covid Tracking Project reported an average of 667,000 people per day were tested over the past week.
NYT said that's far below the nationwide target of 1.9 million daily tests, which is based on research from the Harvard Global Health Institute.
Alabama is at 24% of that target testing.
Our neighboring states aren't much better: Florida is at 16% of the target testing, Georgia at 19%, Mississippi at 21%, and Tennessee at 30%.
"We would like to do more testing than we're already doing. We're at our goal at this point in time. The challenge would be the Alabama Department of Public Health Bureau of Clinical Laboratories. We are processing a number of specimens per day. Some days between 1,000 up to 1,400 to 1,500 specimens. Which is a very high capacity for us to do," said Dr. Landers.
If more commercial or clinical labs came on board, including ones out of state, that could help increase the number of daily testing, according to Dr. Landers.
She said that possibility is being discussed.
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