Boris Johnson’s Testing Mistakes Are Adding Up

(Bloomberg Opinion) — The scary thing about the U.K.’s much-publicized problems with Covid-19 testing is not that the system is encountering difficulties — those were inevitable. It’s that the government failed to anticipate them, it has not been transparent about what went wrong or convincing on the question of when the problems will be resolved.

Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have been getting an earful from lawmakers from all parties as stories mounted of a meltdown in the country’s testing system. Many people with Covid symptoms have been instructed to travel hundreds of miles for tests and those were the lucky ones. Others seeking to book a test spent hours in a front a screen hitting the refresh button with no joy.

Hancock told Parliament on Tuesday that it would take “weeks” to fix the current problems. When asked on Wednesday, Johnson did not repeat that pledge. He

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One in nine pupils absent from school as lack of testing drives fears of ‘lockdown by default’

Absence rate more than double pre-Covid times last Thursday (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)
Absence rate more than double pre-Covid times last Thursday (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

More than one in nine pupils were absent from school last week, government figures show, as teachers and unions warned a lack of available coronavirus tests meant more schools would be forced to close, leading to “lockdown by default”.

After schools reopened in England following six months of closure during the pandemic, education secretary Gavin Williamson touted the fact that 99.9 per cent of schools were open to at least some pupils.

But absence rates were more than double that of pre-Covid times, with Department for Education (DfE) statistics suggesting 12 per cent of pupils were not in attendance on 10 September.

Some 92 per cent of state schools were fully open, the DfE estimates, providing face-to-face teaching for pupils all day with no groups self-isolating. In these schools, 90 per cent of pupils were in

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Boris Johnson to face MPs as testing ‘failure’ puts NHS ‘under huge pressure’

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Getty Images

Boris Johnson will face a grilling from senior MPs amid a warning that the “failure” of the test and trace system is placing “huge pressure” on the health service.

As the system struggles to cope with soaring demand, people have been turning up to accident and emergency to ask for Covid-19 tests.

Mr Johnson will face deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner for PMQs because Sir Keir Starmer remains in isolation awaiting a coronavirus test result for a member of his family.

His appearance in the Commons comes after Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said on Tuesday that a “high volume” of patients arrived to the A&E requesting tests.

Trust chair Professor Donna Hall said people in Bolton – which has the highest infection rate in England – had been trying to get tests via their GPs and the hospital when they could not get them online or at mobile

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Patient First In Gloucester Township Now Testing For Coronavirus

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ — Patient First in Gloucester Township now offers testing for the coronavirus, the health system announced on Monday. It is the third Patient First facility in Camden County to offer coronavirus testing.

Virus testing is available only at designated Patient First testing centers and is by appointment only. Patient First in Gloucester Township is located at 606 Cross Keys Road in the Sicklerville section of the township.

The test that is offered is the RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase — Polymerase Chain Reaction) molecular diagnostic test. The test sample is collected at Patient First and is sent to a reference lab for testing.

Coronavirus testing is also available at the Patient First centers in Hamilton, Cherry Hill and Voorhees. Testing appointments can be made online at https://www.patientfirst.com/covid-19/covid-19-testing.

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Delco Hosting Flu Shot Clinic, Coronavirus Testing Next Week

MILLBOURNE, PA — Delaware County is offering residents the chance to get tested for the coronavirus and vaccinated for the flu next week.

The county is hosting two days of coronavirus testing and one day of flu vaccinations in Millbourne.

Whether residents are getting flu shots or coronavirus tests, all must wear masks or face coverings.

Residents can get flu vaccinations from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Philadelphia Sikh Society, 6706 Garden Court Road in Millbourne.

Flu shots will be available via drive-thru to all residents of Delaware County, 3 years of age or older. Residents are asked to preregister by calling 610-891-6129, but walk-ups will also be allowed.

The drive-thru format is intended to make it more convenient for our older residents, those with disabilities, and parents with small children, and is an optimal set up during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Shots will

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Inside University of Illinois’ massive COVID-19 testing operation

As schools attempt to bring students back to school safely, a game-changer might come out of central Illinois.

The University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus has one of the most aggressive COVID-19 testing protocols among institutions of higher education in the country, as it aims to keep students on campus during the pandemic this fall.

Twice a week, the university tests all students residing on or off campus and employees who report to university facilities using a noninvasive saliva test created by the research institution. That has amounted to as many as 15,000 or 17,000 tests administered in one day — more tests than most universities with on-campus learning have completed since the start of the pandemic, and what a smaller institution testing all its students might handle in a month.

In the last week of August, the university accounted for nearly 20% of all tests reported in Illinois, according to

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As the U.K.’s coronavirus testing system struggles, the health secretary blames too many ‘inappropriate’ tests

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The U.K.’s coronavirus-testing system is overloaded, and the government’s health chief has identified the culprits: people who get tests despite having no COVID-19 symptoms.

“In the last couple of weeks we have seen an increase in demand including…from people who are not eligible for tests, people who don’t have symptoms,” Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said in a Wednesday interview with Sky News. “About 25% of people who are coming forward don’t have symptoms, and aren’t eligible.”

These, apparently, are the people responsible for a situation in which others are being asked to travel hundreds of miles to get tests, and many of those trying to apply online—symptomatic or not—get an error message.

A leading figure in the U.K.’s testing regime has also

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Radio Host Farheen Raza Says Faulty Coronavirus Testing Caused Mental Health Struggles

Farheen Raza

Farheen Raza, 37, is a Muslim American community activist, radio personality and mother of three boys from Flower Mound, Texas. She’s the host of the Musings of a Modern Muslim podcast and Real Talk with Farheen on Radio Caravan in Dallas. Known for her fearless approach to dissecting tough topics, Raza helps her viewers and listeners unpack cultural stigmas while bringing hope and healing to all. Follow her on Instagram at @theModMuslim.

I can still remember the events that led to my positive diagnosis so clearly. It was March and coronavirus had been declared a global pandemic. My husband, who’s a physician, started seeing patients here in Texas right away.

At home, we were being extra careful. No one knew at the time how bad things would get, but my husband was adamant very early on that we take things seriously. We lucked out because our kids were

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The University of Illinois COVID-19 testing plan is so aggressive that it accounts for 20% of the state’s tests

A COVID-19 saliva sample is collected as testing is conducted on July 7, 2020, in a tent on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. 

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A COVID-19 saliva sample is collected as testing is conducted on July 7, 2020, in a tent on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

As colleges across the US continue to close and suspend classes because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the University of Illinois is taking a different approach.

While some schools are testing students when they first arrive on campus, the University of Illinois is requiring its students to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week, using rapid saliva tests that provide results within hours.

Students are only allowed inside campus buildings if they receive negative test results, which are kept up-to-date on a health-tracking app.

The school is testing so many students so often, that its plan accounts for 20% of the state of Illinois’ testing, and

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CDC changes testing guidelines for asymptomatic people; University of Alabama cases skyrocket; 2 reinfections in Europe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its COVID-19 testing guidelines and now says people without symptoms “do not necessarily need a test” – even if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

Just last week, the CDC updated its travel guidelines that no longer mandate a 14-day quarantine for anyone who’s traveled outside of their state or the country. The revisions to CDC guidelines have been met with concern by medical experts, who caution that less testing may lead to more cases and hinder contact tracing efforts. 

Tensions between the federal government and scientists remain high: Earlier this week, some doctors spoke out against the approval of blood plasma as a COVID-19 treatment, and what that may mean for future vaccines, as the Food and Drug Administration offered inaccurate data as evidence of its effectiveness. 

Meanwhile, efforts to learn more about how the virus spreads remain unwavering. Researchers in

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