AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– At one point, large COVID-19 testing centers were closing because of low volume. Now, amid a surge of coronavirus cases across Colorado, the lines have returned.
In Aurora on Monday morning, the testing site on East 6th Street wrapped around for 2½ hours. By midday Tuesday, testing sites like Centennial Center Park shutdown because they reached their limit; it’s even hard to book an appointment online without having to wait days in advance.
“With regards to these rapid tests, the infrastructure just isn’t there to deploy them in the U.S.,” said Gerald Commissiong.
Commissiong is president and chief executive officer for Todos Medical. He tells CBS4 the company distributes federally approved rapid testing in Boulder. However, demand is outpacing the ability to run tests as COVID-19 numbers go up.
“The number one issue in speeding up the testing process right now is getting through the regulatory hurdle,” he explained.
Commissiong said just a handful of companies are approved to manufacture and supply hardware for tests. Todos is working to get more through the process, but even if there were more, reporting is still an issue.
“There is no mechanism in place if someone tests positive, for that information to be relayed to public health officials,” he said.
Now combined with a national shortage of rapid tests, the reality some face is having to take time off work, quarantining in limbo, and or having to rely on a test which can take up to 4 days to a week for results.
“And if you look at the tests, none of them are approved for people who don’t have symptoms,” Commissiong said.
The key to feeling safe he reiterated is to make testing freely accessible. Until then, he thinks this is going to tough on everyone, and the economy.