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Birx says she would like to see coronavirus test results available immediately

Posted at 2:24 PM, Jul 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-26 19:25:08-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told WRTV in a one-on-one interview she would like for COVID-19 test results to be available immediately.

People in Indiana have reported waiting up to six days to receive results of their coronavirus tests.

"Optimally, I would like tests to be immediately available, and we do have some of those tests like that, but not enough of them around the country," Birx said.

Birx added that there are tests that take 24-to-48 hours to receive results.

"We need to keep within that time range," she said. "Right now, with the stress on the system, we're doing more tests today than we did a week ago or two weeks ago. But we need to do even more because we have to decrease those turnaround times."

Birx said test pooling is an option to make results quicker. She said pooling works by combining specimens in the lab and run multiple tests together.

"That would decrease your turnaround time from five days to one day. There are innovative pieces we can do," Birx said.

Birx also described the BD Veritor, a test that has been sent to nursing homes and long-term care facilities to get rapid results.

Birx said five days to wait is too long for the patient, and it does not work for public health.

"So while we have these delays, we should be telling everyone if you're concerned enough to go and get a test, please protect others around you for however long it takes until you get that result back," she said.

Watch more of WRTV's interview with Dr. Deborah Birx in the player above.