Quest Diagnostics warns of delayed turnaround times as testing “soars”

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The largely unimpeded spread of the coronavirus will complicate significantly the ability of pro and college football to safely operate in 2020. The more frequently football players are tested, the greater the strain that will be placed on the broader testing resources.

With the virus spreading, more and more Americans are getting tested. As more and more Americans get tested, more and more strain is placed on the testing resources.

Case in point: Quest Diagnostics issued a statement on Monday explaining that the “soaring demand” for COVID-19 testing will slow the time for providing results.

For the highest-priority patients, Quest’s average turnaround is “slightly more than 1 day.” For everyone else, the average turnaround time is “7 or more days.”

As recently explained, the NFL realizes that issues could arise for teams like the Chargers, Rams, Cardinals, Texans, and Cowboys, each of which are located in cities that are experiencing significant spikes in positive cases.

Although Quest expects to increase its testing capacity, the reality is that the demand likely will go up, too.

‘We will not be in a position to reduce our turnaround times as long as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase dramatically across much of the United States,” Quest said. “This is not just a Quest issue. The surge in COVID-19 cases affects the laboratory industry as a whole.”

Separate and apart, then, from whether outbreaks could derail the NFL or college football season is whether the laboratory industry can accommodate the widespread and repeated testing of football players without infringing on resources available to the general public.

While the NFL may be able to pull it off, especially if it works to boost total testing capacity in NFL cities, this dynamic could make it impossible for the nation’s college football programs to test as frequently as they need to test in order to safeguard the health and welfare of unpaid workers who already sacrifice plenty for room, tuition, fees, boards, books, and snacks.

7 responses to “Quest Diagnostics warns of delayed turnaround times as testing “soars”

  1. Hopefully the NFL and the NFLPA realize the “head in the sand” tactic isn’t helping.

    There is no way 32 teams are each playing 16 games this year.

    Time to start considering a shortened schedule, such as division only, a bubble format, or even a divisional bubble format.

    Pick one stadium per division, bubble the four teams for 3 weeks at a time, play a round of divisional games. Test before and after. Give a three week break, come back for another 3 week bubble, play the second round of divisional games, tests before and after. A few week break, hope there is a better handle on the pandemic by the holidays, and figure out the playoffs.

  2. So, if we can’t get enough testing to test every person in America every day, how can we be wanting to see the NFL or NBA? Doesn’t make sense to me….seems to be putting these leagues ahead of all others, and that doesn’t seem fair either…..

  3. It’s July 13th, and the NFL is still pretending we will have football this season. Obviously, this virus has been mishandled, badly. It is out of control at this point. Is this wishful thinking? Sheer ignorance? Even NFL owners couldn’t possibly be this greedy, could they?

  4. Surely the NFL could afford to purchase the equipment and materials to do their own testing in house for each team.

  5. Learn to wear a mask.
    Individual freedom sacrifice.
    Better safe than sorry.
    Stay in (if you can).

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