The State of COVID-19 testing in terms of availability and turn around time has changed dramatically throughout the course of the pandemic. To get a better understanding of how Mammoth can support the testing community, we conducted a survey of COVID-19 testing labs that was completed by over 500 testing lab professionals between February 23rd and March 10th, 2021.
This is the third in a series of blog posts covering the high level results from the survey. You can get a more in-depth look at the results from the survey by downloading our full report.
We wanted to compare results from our March 2021 survey to surveys conducted back in October 2020.
We found the following:
- Testing labs had similar desires to increase capacity in October 2020 and in March 2021
- Personnel and supply of reagents were both barriers in October 2020 and March 2021
- Labs have less difficulty with capital equipment outlay in March 2021 vs. October 2020.
Lets dig into what this means:
Current COVID-19 testing capacity
As you can see from the charts above, labs had similar capacities in October 2020 and March 2021. The plurality of respondents from both surveys indicated that their labs test 100 samples a day or less. In March 2021 there was a slight increase in the 101-500 and 1001-5,000+ testing volumes.
Desire to increase testing capacity
Survey respondents indicated a similar desire to increase testing capacity in October 2020 and March 2021. Total percentages that wanted to increase capacity were:
October 2020 – 68%
March 2021 – 64%
A higher percentage of labs indicated that they wanted to increase capacity beyond 5000 samples per day in October 2020 (14%) compared to March 2021 (7%). This may indicate that labs either successfully increased capacity or that fewer case numbers in March decreased labs desired for growth.
Barriers to increased capacity
As you can see, the top two barriers in both surveys included supplies and personnel. In March 2021 only 27% of correspondents indicated that “Capital equipment outlay” was a top barrier as compared to 33% in October 2020. Thus labs appear to have less difficulty with capital equipment outlay in March 2021 vs. October 2020.
Overall, labs definitely still want to increase COVID-19 testing capacity! Between October 2020 and March 2021, they may have accessed some of the equipment they need to do this. However, they are still having difficulty finding the personnel and supplies they need. This may be because labs are looking to return personnel to the types of testing they performed prior to the pandemic.
For more insights into our October 2020 and March 2021 survey, download the full report!