When Madeline Santiago decided to take her 12-year-old daughter on vacation to see relatives in Puerto Rico, she didn’t count on a stressful side trip into the surreal world of COVID-19 testing.
Puerto Rico now requires all visitors to prove they tested negative for infection no more than 72 hours before arriving in the U.S. island commonwealth — even though test processing in the United States is so backed up that getting results typically takes a week or two.
To ensure she’d have her results, Santiago got tested weeks before departing Philadelphia. But the 33-year-old health insurance salesperson couldn’t find any collection site in the region that would take a swab from her daughter for testing.
“I was completely ready for them to turn us back at the airport” in Puerto Rico, Santiago said Thursday, the day they arrived. “We went through a small screening and completed a declaration form that we were tested. But I have yet to receive my results” from testing giant LabCorp.
Barely three months have passed since the nation’s initial epic diagnostic testing failures. Now, despite ramping up testing, the U.S. is again bungling the use of this tool, so vital to controlling the pandemic.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer