Covid Testing Is Slow to Bounce Back From Holiday Lull in U.S.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. has been slow to return to pre-holiday levels of Covid-19 testing, even as cases and hospitalizations hit new highs, raising concern about the nation’s ability to monitor the raging pandemic.
The seven-day average of Covid-19 tests is still down 14% from its peak on Dec. 15. On Jan. 2, the U.S. hit 1.54 million average daily tests, the fewest since Nov. 16, and it has recovered only slightly.
The development comes as Florida has begun to convert testing sites for vaccine distribution. The Sunshine State was among the first to open the vaccine to anyone 65 or older, and other states are likely to follow its example in repurposing testing areas. Houston plans to turn Minute Maid Park, home to Major League Baseball’s Astros, into a vaccination hub this weekend.
The U.S. reported 266,197 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, pushing the seven-day average to a record 223,675, according to Covid Tracking Project data.
Johns Hopkins data showed that as of Friday morning, 366,269 people had died since the pandemic began.
According to Covid Tracking Project:
- New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Nevada reported record cases Thursday.
- Arizona, Nevada and Alabama have the most people currently hospitalized with the virus per capita.
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