As access to COVID testing solutions becomes more ubiquitous amid efforts to curb the current surge of infections, labs are finding the increased volume of tests has placed significant pressure on their efforts.

“I think that unfortunately, we are as unprepared for the type of surge we are experiencing — from a testing perspective — as we were a year ago,” said Omai Garner, who directs the clinical microbiology testing laboratory for UCLA Health.

Free at-home coronavirus testing kits, now available to households around the country, promise to ease the bottlenecks, but questions over shortages and delays threaten to undermine confidence. Answers, however, lie in the numbers.

Before the surge, Garner estimated that his lab was processing about 700 PCR tests a day. Today that number is close to 2,000. Nor was his lab alone in its running at capacity.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.