Maine CDC lab has backlog of 46K positive tests, moving away from daily case counts as accurate metric

Northern Light testing site
Northern Light testing site(WABI)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:01 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Maine CDC testing lab is overrun with tests.

In fact, as of Wednesday, there is a backlog of more than 46,000 positive tests.

Head of the Maine CDC Dr. Nirav Shah says over the last seven days, they have been receiving more than 3,100 positive tests a day.

That number averaged 957 just three weeks ago.

“The current COVID wave has been so large that it has outstripped our ability to create new daily cases of COVID-19. This has happened throughout the pandemic from time to time. However, in light of the current tsunami of Omicron cases, this process of creating and converting a positive result into a case has been even harder,” said Shah.

Shah says when you take into account the number of at home tests people are taking then choosing to quarantine, the daily case counts many had relied on as a barometer become far less a true picture of what’s going on.

As a result, the Maine CDC is going to place a larger emphasis on wastewater testing in the weeks ahead.

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