Addressing a widening concern about the lag time between getting tested and receiving test results, a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Roy Freiman to require facilities offering COVID-19 tests to provide accurate timeframes for test results to residents and to require the Department of Health to update its COVID-19 website with testing locations offering results within 48 hours was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Monday.
“Turnaround for testing results has gone from two days to a week or more for too many residents,” said Freiman (D- Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon). “We began with the premise that testing people quickly will allow them to self-quarantine quickly to prevent transmission to more people. Longer delays for test results will make it much harder to slow the spread of this virus amongst us.”
The bill (A-4412) would require, prior to testing an individual for COVID-19, a public or private facility that performs COVID-19 tests is to inform the patient of the timeframe in which he or she will receive test results and provide the results of his or her COVID-19 test within the timeframe specified.
Also under the bill, the Commissioner of Health is to update the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub Internet website in a manner that provides information regarding which testing locations listed on the website provide a coronavirus test result within 48 hours after a test is performed.
“The longer the wait for test results, the more work for contact tracers to track those who have been in contact with an individual who tests positive,” continued Freiman. “This magnifies the risk of an infected individual spreading the virus to others. Residents should know what to expect when they are tested and testing locations should be updated regularly on the COVID-19 website.”