Residents in some rural counties struggling to get tested for COVID-19


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — COVID-19 testing isn’t easy for some people to get, especially those in rural counties. 

And some who are getting tested are waiting way too long for results.

“For those of us I guess you could say in more rural counties, it is not easily accessible to be able to get testing and results in a decent amount of time,” said Sarah Taillon, who lives in Cass County.

Taillon found out Thursday that some of her coworkers tested positive for COVID-19, but couldn’t wait until the next drive-thru testing date there. So on Friday, she went to CVS for a test.

What was supposed to be a 2-4 day wait passed by with no word. 

“I believe that was the fifth day I called CVS and was on hold for 2 1/2 hours,” Taillon said. “I finally got through to someone, and they said I should see them by Friday, which is eight days.” 

Quest Diagnostics, which processes tests for CVS, says on its website that the unprecedented demand for tests is the problem.

“We are doing everything we can to bring more COVID-19 testing to patients in the United States at this critical time,” the company’s website says.

“This week, we intend to ramp up our capacity to reach 120,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day, compared to 115,000 last week. Over the month of July, we will continue to ramp up our capacity to reach 150,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day.”

Another Cass County resident, Elizabeth Babcock, waited 10 days for results from her CVS test because of what she calls a lack of testing accessibility in Cass County. 

When FOX4 called the Cass County Health Department, an automated recording plays this message for people seeking testing: 

“For information on coronavirus or COVID-19, including whether you need testing, please press 6 to be connected to the state of Missouri’s COVID-19 hotline.” 

There, the person who answered the phone said there are currently no testing locations listed in Cass County. She said she’s gotten that question a lot, and we were told to go to CVS Pharmacy.

“I literally joked that I should have just driven to Columbia, Missouri, because they were doing 15-minute result test,” Babcock said. “I was like, it would’ve made more financial sense for me to drive across the state to go somewhere else.”

The Cass County Health Department has not responded to FOX4’s request for information. 

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