Lab reporting lag is making Riverside County’s COVID-19 case increases appear lower than they actually are, official says

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A healthcare worker collects a nasal swab for a coronavirus test in San Bernardino County in April 2020. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A healthcare worker collects a nasal swab for a coronavirus test in San Bernardino County in April 2020. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Riverside and San Bernardino counties are feeling the impacts of nationwide coronavirus testing problems, officials said this week.

After a spike in the number of reported infections last week in Riverside County that went as high as 1,400 cases daily, the number dipped Tuesday to 733. Brooke Federico, the county’s public information officer, said the decline is related to a backup in test results from commercial testing labs LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics.

“LabCorp has put out several public statements explaining that they have been experiencing delays in processing all of the samples due to the volume that’s coming through,” Federico said. The county’s “reduction in cases is not indicative of the disease slowing, but rather this lag time in getting results back.”

Riverside County currently has the ability to test 4,000 people daily, about 800 more than could be tested in May, Federico said. The county has tested nearly 300,000 people, records show.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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