Citing the lag in processing for the high volume of tests, the state of California released new guidance on who can be tested for Covid-19.
Here are the guidelines for each tier of testing:
- First priority for testing will go to those hospitalized with symptoms, close contacts of confirmed cases or are part of a contact tracing investigation.
- Next are those who show symptoms should be tested along with asymptomatic people who live or work in in congregate settings, like nursing homes, homeless shelters, prisons. This priority level also includes healthcare workers and patients in hospitals.
- The third tier includes those who work in settings who have frequent contact with others and are not able to maintain six-foot distance such as retail or manufacturing, food services, agriculture, public transit and educators.
- The fourth and final tier includes the asymptomatic but at risk for infection. This tier would be implemented when the state’s turnaround time is less than 48 hours.
“Our testing capacity has increased exponentially in recent months. At the same time, new national supply chain challenges and large volumes of specimens sent to commercial laboratories have resulted in growing delays in processing times," Dr. Mark Ghaly, state Health and Human Services Secretary, said. "Consequently, it is critical we continue to be deliberate and creative about testing. We must do this so that testing is readily available and affordable to those who need it, especially those communities experiencing the worst impacts of Covid-19 and those who are at the highest risk."
Latest hospitalization numbers: Yesterday, the state hit a new record with a total of 6,745 hospitalizations and 1,886 ICU admissions, according to the CDPH. This is a 4% increase in hospitalizations and a 2.9% increase in ICU admissions from Monday.