MDHHS Adds New Data To Website With Lab Turnaround Times

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new page on its coronavirus website to keep track of COVID-19 lab tests. The department has released the following:

To help provide additional information about COVID-19 testing, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has added testing turnaround time data to the Michigan.gov/Coronavirus website.

COVID-19 Testing Turnaround Time (TAT) provides data for the past 14 days on the average time it takes for a diagnostic COVID-19 laboratory test to be reported to the state health department. MDHHS receives results from commercial labs, hospitals and public health labs. Total turnaround time is calculated by subtracting the date of the sample collection date from the date the laboratory results are received by the state and is provided in days.

Transport time is calculated by subtracting the date and time of specimen collection from the date and time that the laboratory received the specimen for analysis and is also provided in days. One tenth of day is approximately equal to 2.5 hours.

“We continue to work hard to expand COVID-19 testing across our state and want Michiganders to get timely test results. Nearly 900,000 test results were reported to the state in the last 14 days with test results averaging less than three days,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We continue to urge Michiganders who wish to be tested to find the testing site nearest to them. This data will help people understand how quickly they may receive results, depending on which lab the site is using.”

Test results may be available to patients and/or providers sooner than the date they are received at MDHHS. Factors that may impact turnaround times:

  • Method of reporting by labs (i.e., electronic reporting versus manual data files).
  • Reporting specifications used by labs (i.e., standard versus non-standard reporting templates).
  • MDHHS capacity processing time during extreme volume report days; this can result in some lag between submission and receipt.

TAT data will be updated weekly on Thursdays, other than on certain holidays. MDHHS has announced its holiday schedule for all data posting. Data will not be updated on the Michigan.gov/coronavirus website on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to allow MDHHS staff to celebrate the holidays with their households.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.