SARS-CoV-2 Testing in Florida, Illinois, and Maryland: Access and Barriers


Objective: To characterize the SARS-CoV-2 testing cascade and associated barriers in three US states. Methods: We recruited participants from Florida, Illinois, and Maryland (~1000/state) for an online survey September 16 - October 15, 2020. The survey covered demographics, COVID-19 symptoms, and experiences around SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing in the prior 2 weeks. Logistic regression was used to analyze associations with outcomes of interest. Results: Overall, 316 (10%) of 3,058 respondents wanted/needed a test in the two weeks prior to the survey. Of these, 166 (53%) were able to get tested and 156 (94%) received results; 53% waited 8 or more days to get results from when they wanted/needed a test. There were no significant differences by state. Among those wanting/needing a test, getting tested was significantly less common among men (aOR: 0.46) and those reporting black race (aOR: 0.53) and more common in those reporting recent travel (aOR: 3.35). Conclusions: There is an urgent need for a national communication strategy on who should get tested and where one can get tested. Additionally, measures need to be taken to improve access and reduce turn-around-time.