LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Fifteen days after getting tested for the coronavirus at a Norton Immediate Care Center in Louisville, Rob Benefiel is still waiting on his results.
“They told me that when I tested that it would be three to 14 days. They just didn’t know,” Benefiel said.
The delayed results are part of a nationwide problem as virus case numbers surge.
Bill Altman, a consultant to the Louisville Metro Health and Wellness Department, said national labs are backed up because they’re receiving more test swabs than ever.
“As a result of what’s happening in Florida, Texas, California, Arizona,” Altman said, “those national labs are overwhelmed with specimens to process and return, and as a result of that national crisis, even places like us are experiencing delays if those specimens are sent to the national labs.”
This could explain why Benefiel’s results are taking so long, as Norton Healthcare sends some of its samples to national labs. A Norton Healthcare spokesperson sent this statement to WAVE 3 News regarding their testing procedures:
“All of our tests are sent to CPA Lab, a division of Norton Healthcare, for sorting based on symptoms and urgency. CPA has the capacity to run 750 tests per day as long as we continue to receive supplies from vendors. Processing for inpatients, employees and pre-procedure testing are prioritized. The rest of our tests are sent to national labs. The national labs receive specimens from all across the country and must prioritize their processing.”
“I didn’t have to go get tested, but I felt it was the responsible thing to do to go and verify so the contact tracing can happen,” Benefiel said.
Health officials report that contact tracing does not begin until there is a positive result. That is why experts say it is important to self-quarantine until test results are received, or after 10 days of isolation, per CDC guidelines.
However, there may be a way to receive test results faster in Louisville. Louisville Metro announced its teamed up with Bluewater Diagnostics to help improve test result turnaround time. Representatives from Bluewater say the lab has the capacity to test up to 1,500 samples per day with results available within 24 to 48 business hours.
Bluewater is hosting “pop-up” test sites across Louisville. For test site locations and dates, click here.