This would be good news for those symptoms who are suffering or who were obviously exposed to someone with coronavirus.
But that can mean longer delays for those looking for test results before returning to work, back to school, or visiting friends or family.
“As the country continues to struggle to provide laboratories with a stable supply of reagents, viral transport vehicles, plastics (such as pipette tips), and other essential items to ensure COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 testing, we recommend that the Administration consider updating testing prioritization guidelines to ensure that the limited testing resources available are directed to those with a demonstrated medical need for testing and those identified by well-defined health surveillance efforts. public. “
Trump administration testing The Trump administration has said the results should ideally be delivered within 24 hours of a coronavirus test. The Department of Health and Human Services did not respond Wednesday to CNN’s request for comment on the letter.
Who will take the test with priority, and who will not?
Medical groups suggested “those with COVID19 symptoms, those with known exposures to COVID-19, and those in need of preoperative testing” should have access to rapid testing and test results.
“While significant increases in new cases of COVID-19 create significant demand for new tests, we are also seeing an increase in demand for testing asymptomatic individuals without any indicated medical need for testing services,” the letter said.
“These include tests for employees returning to work, students returning to colleges and universities, and individuals wishing to engage in non-essential travel.”
And without improving the supplies available, “we simply do not have the resources to meet the high demand for testing by asymptomatic individuals without exposure to COVID-19,” the groups write.
“We remain hopeful that the United States will soon be able to boost production to meet the needs of anyone who wants a COVID-19 test. However, until production can meet our unprecedented demand for testing services “It is essential that we prioritize our testing resources where they are most needed.”
How big delays do some tests make ‘border line useless’
“They call it the pre-symptomatic period. So people tend to have more viruses at that point apparently in their nose, in their mouth. That ‘s even before they get sick. And they can shed that virus. in the environment. “
In June, after crowds of young people were seen enjoying themselves without face masks, the White House coronavirus force coordinator called on all millennials to be tested.
“Thanks to the millennials who have listened to our instructions, they have been moving forward and doing tests,” said Dr. Deborah Birx.
“Whereas before we told them to stay home, now we are telling them to get tested. And this is a great change for us because it now allows us to find asymptomatic and mild diseases that we could not find. before.”
But since then, testing skills have not kept up with the demands.
In late July, the Trump administration’s testing czar said that while testing capabilities have improved, “we will not stop our efforts until testing is exactly where we want it to be with a quick turnaround time.”
At that point, testing becomes the “useless limit,” Dr. said. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.
If faster testing was universally available, he said in late July, “we could lead this epidemic, and we could bury it and take a very low number of cases.”
CNN’s Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.