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On a reporting trip to #Texas, and during the quarantine that followed, I had a lot of time to think about #COVID19 testing.

It took me seven days to get the result of my PCR test.

That isn't acceptable.
In the United States, #COVID19 testing capacity has improved, but it hasn't kept up with demand.

I keep hearing the labs are overwhelmed.
I was tested at an urgent care clinic in Brooklyn, eight hours after my flight landed at LaGuardia.

It was Independence Day, and I arrived shortly after the office opened.

There was a line down the block, and I waited an hour.
Right now, if you travel from Texas to New York, you have to quarantine for 14 days.

Here's the official guidance:
Some friends were out of town, and they kindly let me stay in their apartment. (Thanks, guys.)

Unsure if I was #COVID19 positive, I didn't want to risk infecting my wife and kids.
The days ticked by.

No symptoms.

No word.
I took another #COVID19 test five days after I got back.

(I worried I could have contracted it on my flight home.)

I went to a different urgent care clinic, and I waited just as long to get inside.
The physician's assistant who saw me said he personally administers 100 tests a day, and the clinical laboratory the office uses can't keep up.
There was a sign at the reception desk:

"Due to increased national laboratory testing demand, please allow a minimum 7 days to receive your COVID-19 PCR (nasal swab) and/or Serum Antibody IgG (blood test) results."
In #Houston, #Texas, I visited two public testing sites.

Several days a week, hundreds of cars snake through parking lots, and drivers wait hours to get tested.

It takes at least a week to get results, local officials told me. Usually longer.
On March 6th, President Trump said, "Anybody that wants a test can get a test."

Four months later, that is still not the case.

Harris County's population is 4.7 million.

Its largest testing site can accommodate 750 persons per day.
Some sites in Texas receive support from the federal government.

You may remember the Trump administration threatened to end that.


Because of blowback, it continues. But there officials told me they are planning in case it disappears.
In #Texas, I spoke with Dr. David Persse, the Health Authority for the #Houston Health Department.

He had just delivered some tough news to reporters at a news conference:

Houston's positivity rate was nearing 25 percent.
We talked about testing, but we also discussed contact tracing.

#Houston was reaching out to individuals who had tested positive for #COVID19, and their contacts, but calls were going unanswered.

We are conditioned not to answer calls from numbers we don't recognize.
At LaGuardia, I passed a woman sitting at a card table. She was surrounded by stacks of paper.

The woman seemed surprised we hadn't been given forms to fill out on our flight from #Houston.
A few of us stopped to complete them, but most of my fellow passengers didn't.

The questions were basic, but they seemed important:

What flight were you on?

What was your assigned seat?

Where are you staying in New York?

What's the best way to contact you?
Today, I got a call from the Test & Trace Corps.

It was an automated recording, and I'm ashamed to admit it went straight to voicemail.

The Corps wanted me to know that I am required by law to quarantine for 14 days.

By the time they called, I had been in New York for 8 days.
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