Tuesday, March 17, 2020

North Carolina State lab says "can test 1,300 people" for COVID-19 total and "has conducted a total of 329 tests" and Twitter roll

"As of 11 a.m. today (3/17/2020), there have been 33 cases of COVID-19 reported in 14 counties in North Carolina. One person has been hospitalized.

The state laboratory has conducted 329 tests, Tilson said, and can test an additional 1,300 people.

Commercial and hospital labs have expanded their testing as well.

However, some people have reported to the media that they have been denied testing, even though they have symptoms: cough, fever, and a negative test for flu.

Tilson said DHHS has been “developing more health provider guidance,” which includes submitting tests to laboratories that can handle the workload.

“We know there’s a demand for testing,” Tilson said. “We’re in a better place today [in terms of barriers to testing] than we were yesterday.”

Although the number of reported cases has increased by only one over the last day — the latest being a student at Campbell University — Tilson said it’s important not to read too much into the pace of the disease’s spread.

“We’ll probably see more and more cases,” she said.

DHHS’s coronavirus hotline has been overwhelmed with calls from people, many of which have not been returned. “We’re working on tackling that,” Tilson said.