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Michigan releases COVID-19 testing turnaround data; current estimated time is nearly 3 days

By Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in News & Features

DETROIT — The state of Michigan has added a new feature to its regular pandemic updates that now shows the turnaround time of coronavirus tests in labs across the state.

The chart specifically tracks the estimated turnaround time for COVID-19 virus diagnostic testing results reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the last 14 days. It also breaks down every Michigan lab, commercial or public, and their individual turnaround times.

As of Tuesday, Michigan's estimated turnaround time for COVID-19 virus diagnostic testing is nearly three days. Turnaround time is calculated by subtracting the date the test sample was taken from the date the results reached the state.

Transport time is calculated by the date the test sample was taken from the date the sample reached a lab for analysis. So far, all transport times have been under three days.

 

The state notes that public health laboratories perform fewer diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.

Test results also can be released to the patients sooner than they are received by the state.

Michigan listed some factors that could impact turnaround times. They include whether or not a lab reports test results electronically and what template it uses to report those results. On days with a high volume of results, MDHHS's capacity for processing can be delayed and result in a "lag" between the submission of the test and its actual receipt.

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