PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia health officials are frustrated by the lack of swab testing as the number of coronavirus cases in the city now tops 8,500 and the death toll nears 300. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley reported 518 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the citywide total to 8,563.
Another 34 deaths were also announced, raising the city’s death toll to 298.
During Friday’s press conference, Farley said the lack of swab testing is limiting the city’s ability to do everything they want to do to help during the pandemic.
“We are still, unfortunately, limited by how much testing we can do by the number of swabs we can use to collect the sample, by the laboratory capacity to process those samples, and by the delays in reporting, which can take two to seven days for us to get a result,” Farley said. “This very much limits our ability to do everything we want to do to in this epidemic.”
Farley says the city needs thousands of more swabs tests.
“We can’t get enough of them and until we have more, the testing we’re going to be able to do in Philadelphia will be limited,” the health commissioner said.
Farley added they also would like more rapid tests to be available.