People in North Texas continue to express their frustration as the turnaround time to receive COVID-19 test results drags on.
Major lab corporations like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp are having a tough time keeping up with the high demand of tests due to the rise in coronavirus cases.
Alicia Arnold of Weatherford said on June 28 she was tested for the virus after she started to feel sick.
"I was in contact with a couple people at work and so about two days later I started to have symptoms, achy, throat pain, bad headaches," Arnold said.
She was tested at a local clinic and the test was sent off to a Quest Diagnostics lab. Arnold said she was told it could take three to five days for results, but two weeks later and she's still in the dark.
"I’m not sick anymore, but I’ve been stuck at home and it’s super frustrating," Arnold said.
Quest Diagnostics said patients who are in the hospital, pre-operative, or healthcare workers are considered priority patients and can receive results in slightly more than one day. The rest of the population is seven days or more.
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The company said it has doubled its capacity in eight weeks and is now performing 125,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day. They plan to increase that amount to 150,000 tests a day by the end of the month.
Despite the effort, Quest Diagnostics said the soaring demand has impacted how long it takes to receive test results.
In a statement, Quest Diagnostics said in part, "We want patients and health care providers to know that we will not be in a position to reduce our turnaround times as long as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase dramatically across much of the United States.”
It's a problem that's happening across the laboratory industry. The delay of test results can prove to have a domino effect because, without those answers, people like Arnold and her husband can't go back to work.
“I’m a substance abuse counselor and I need to be there for my patients. My husband can’t go to work, he’s fixing to have to file for short term disability," Arnold said.
Arnold and her husband have been in quarantine since they went to get tested. Arnold said her husband, Brian, didn't have symptoms but was tested on June 29. He received his negative results a week ago. She said in order for him to go back to work, her test has to be negative too.
She went back to the clinic to get retested and was told the specimen would be sent to a different lab.