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North Shore Health lab director shares update on delays in COVID-19 testing

Cook County continues to report a low case count of the new coronavirus among local residents. The actual presence of the virus in Cook County is likely higher than the confirmed case count indicates, WTIP reported in the final days of July.

In addition to some visitors to the North Shore who are reporting COVID-19 infections this summer, delays in testing are also proving problematic in understanding the exact count of local infections on any given day. Minnesota reported its busiest stretch of COVID-19 testing in late July, but delays in results have left many, including some Cook County residents, in a state uncertainty. The delays are due to national supply shortages of needed reactants to process COVID-19 tests, according to Jennifer Backstrom, the lab director at North Shore Health, the hospital and medical facility in Grand Marais.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Backstrom about delays in testing for Cook County residents and others who are tested at the local healthcare facility. They also discuss specifics on testing for COVID-19 in Cook County as August arrives and what to expect moving forward.

The audio to their conversation can be found below.