Getting COVID-19 test results may take more than a week

Backup felt here and nationally
Posted at 5:59 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 19:44:30-04

CINCINNATI — Labs are so backed up that getting your COVID-19 test results may take more than a week, according to local health officials.

Sarah DeMoss knows that first-hand. The Cincinnati woman has been anxiously awaiting her results before making up her mind whether or not to visit family out of town. DeMoss said she was tested last Wednesday.

“We are supposed to go visit my parents, who are obviously in the high-risk category,” DeMoss said. “Our family agreed that since we’re all going together, we would all get tested.”

DeMoss and her husband went to a testing site in Forest Park.

“We had a really good experience, less than 30 minutes,” DeMoss said.

But so far, they have heard nothing, so they may not make the trip.

What’s causing the backup?

Increased demand and the limited number of labs able to run the samples, officials say.

The backup is so serious that the Cincinnati Health Department says it may explore expanding its network to get results back quicker.

“That’s a problem that we don’t like,” said Domonic Hopson, Assistant Cincinnati Health Commissioner, “but that just means we have drastically increased the availability of COVID testing in our community.”

Results are delayed across the country, with three of the nation’s leading diagnostic companies saying the demand is setting them back. The same goes for the drive-thru and walk-up sites in Cincinnati and throughout Hamilton County.

“I think we need to do a better job of working with our lab partners to give them a clearer idea of how many lab specimens we will be sending to them, but also bringing other lab partners to the table,” said Hopson.

DeMoss is still wondering if it’s safe for her family, including three children, to venture out.

“Now, having taken the test, I feel like I have a moral responsibility to hang back a little bit and wait for those results,” DeMoss said.

The Cincinnati Health Department recommends calling ahead to see just how busy your closest testing site is. As a reminder, you do not have to go to the testing site in your neighborhood.