Frustration abounds for those left waiting more than a week for COVID-19 test results

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the problem was accessibility to tests. That’s now being compounded by long wait times for results. 

Many people who need COVID-19 tests are being guided to clinics like the CVS Minute Clinic. In some cases, the test results are taking almost as long as the quarantine period. 

“At this point, I just want my test results back to so I can work or not because not being able to work kind of puts a damper on being able to pay bills,” Sarah Taillon said.

Taillon found out Thursday that several of her co-workers tested positive for COVID-19. On Friday, she went to CVS for a test, and what was supposed to be a 2-4 day wait for results will now be eight days.

Taillon is on a home/office hybrid schedule until her test comes back and is taking precautions while at work, but she also worries about her family.

“My husband and I are both sharing the same symptoms right now,” Taillon said. “Like we are first starting to cough, our chests are starting to hurt, our throats are sore and our backs right around the rib cage on both of us hurt.”

FOX4 contacted CVS to find out why there is such a big delay. The company sent this response: 

Patient samples collected at CVS Health’s COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites are sent offsite to independent, third-party labs who are responsible for processing and delivering the results, which we then communicate to patients. 

The increase in cases of COVID-19 in certain areas of the country is causing extremely high demand for tests across the board. This has caused backlogs for our lab partners and is delaying their processing of patient samples.

Currently, due to these factors, it may take at least 5-7 days for people to receive their results. Our lab partners are working hard to address this issue.

“How is this our system?” Elizabeth Babcock asked. “There are people way smarter than me that should be handling this so that we don’t have a 10-day wait during a pandemic to find out if I have it or not.”

Babcock owns Chaos Course Gym and just got her results back 10 days after testing at CVS. She described a grueling and expensive wait. 

“I was like a crazy person. Like, I probably checked it 40 times over 10 days every day,” Babcock said of the CVS link that notified patients of results. “I was having to re-message my kids and my families because I was canceling, like, ‘Hey this is what’s up. I was expecting 2 to 4 days. I don’t have those results. I’m gonna have to cancel this class.’”

Babcock is married with four children and works closely with people at her gym, some in the high-risk category.

She’s frustrated because she does her part to keep others safe and thinks testing facilities should, too. 

“I’m trying to care for our safe and feel safe coming to me and so I just got like this really unsettling situation,” Babcock said. 

CVS would not tell FOX4 who all of their lab partners are, but Quest Diagnostics is one. That company addresses the delay on its website.

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