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Areas of Limited Testing

A new estimate finds that 20 percent of US counties lack a COVID-19 testing site, which may impede efforts to slow the spread of the virus, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The estimate, made by Surgo Ventures, a data-analytics group, says these spots tend to be in less affluent urban areas and rural locations. Further, the Journal notes that as many people living in these areas have front-line jobs, the lack of testing could place them at increased risk of contracting and spreading the virus. It adds there are other barriers to testing such as sites that require internet access to make an appointment, that charge for testing, and that don't test children. 

Surgo's CEO Sema Sgaier tells the Journal that the number of testing sites in the US has increased recently, though there are still gaps.

The Journal adds that part of President Joe Biden's plan to combat COVID-19 includes increasing access to testing. Through an executive order, he created an interagency board overseen by a COVID-19 Response Testing Coordinator to "ensure we get testing to where it is needed and where it is needed most," as President Biden said during a press briefing, according to 360Dx.