Report: Despite McSally Claim, Arizona COVID-19 Testing In Decline
Report: Despite Need For Widespread Testing,
Weekly Arizona COVID-19 Testing In Decline
Martha McSally, last week: “[W]e’re ramping up testing every single day.”
PHOENIX — Public health experts agree that large-scale COVID-19 testing is necessary to reopen the economy and get Arizonans back to work. But a new report highlights that the state’s COVID-19 testing has “trended downward for weeks” — while Arizona and states across the country have struggled to meet supply chain needs for testing, even as U.S. Sen. Martha McSally has claimed testing is on the rise and praised the Trump administration for “engaging on meeting the needs of the supply chain.”
During a Thursday telephone town hall, McSally last week claimed, “[W]e’re ramping up testing every single day.” But that’s not supported by state data, which shows weekly testing decreasing since the end of March.
By Rob O’Dell, 4/24/20
“Despite widespread calls in Arizona and nationally for more coronavirus testing in order to safely reopen the economy, COVID-19 testing in Arizona has trended downward for weeks, according to the state’s official tally.”
“The high-water mark for tests came four weeks ago, during the week that ended March 28, when 12,728 tests were conducted. Since then, weekly testing numbers fell to 11,864, and then 10,684 for the week ending April 11.”
“Meanwhile, as the number of tests has declined, the percentage of positive tests has increased, which four public health experts say indicates the state is not testing enough for COVID-19. Positive tests should drop as a share of total tests as testing becomes more widespread, the experts said.”
“David Dausey, provost and professor of health science at Duquesne University, said Arizona is not alone in seeing testing declines. ‘Testing in this country is a colossal mess,’ Dausey said. ‘And it all has to do with supply chains and the fact that these tests, and putting them together, are actually complex enough that they require … materials from a variety of different places. And what we’re running into are shortages and getting access to those materials to create the tests.’”
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