California’s Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced new coronavirus testing guidelines as new cases surge and test turnaround times increase.
“Surges across the nation have created challenges of getting tests processed, not just collected,” Ghaly said. The state is also still dealing with a shortage of testing supplies.
To address the backlog, the state has developed tiers to prioritize who will get a test and how fast they receive the results. The top two tiers include hospitalized patients, health care workers and people who live and work in congregate care settings such as nursing homes, homeless shelters and prisons.
Essential workers, such as people working in grocery stores or on public transit, are in the third tier.
The focus, Ghaly said, is “making sure testing is prioritized and targeted in those communities that have the highest need for testing, because of that disproportionate impact [of the virus].”