The vast majority of coronavirus tests are being processed by private clinical laboratories. But the industry continues to face challenges, says the trade group that represents the nation’s private labs, leading to difficulty increasing capacity and delays in test results that can top a week — especially in hard-hit areas like New York and South Florida.”The challenges facing labs today should not be underestimated,” said a spokesperson for the American Clinical Laboratory Association, or ACLA. “There are widespread shortages of test kits, specimen collection materials, personal protective equipment and reagents. Currently, there is no established funding mechanism to support testing capacity now or in the future, and many labs are at risk of absorbing significant costs for uncompensated testing.”In the month since they began testing, private labs have conducted nearly 1.5 million tests — more than 85 percent of all U.S. tests. Some of the largest companies are now able to process more than 35,000 samples a day. While many testing companies estimate times for results within two to five days, in the past month, people around the country have found themselves waiting a week or sometimes nearly two to learn whether they have COVID-19, the disease caused by the

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