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Louisville COVID testing site blames holiday spike in cases for delayed results

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 1:55 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness Department became aware of complaints about a local testing lab taking too long to return results, prompting the department to issue a reminder for people to only visit sites approved by the city.

The site experiencing delayed results is run by the O’Hare Lab in Chicago and is located in the parking lot of Westport Road Baptist Church. This week, the Louisville received complaints from other people who used this site, claiming they received their results late, if at all.

Abbas Khawari, a physician, was going car to car on Wednesday at the site, conducting the COVID tests. Khawari was asked about the complaints regarding delayed test results, and he claimed that the holiday surge was a factor. He said the lab was overwhelmed with nearly four times the number of tests and couldn’t process them all. It is up to date on new tests but is still catching up on older ones.

“So, what happened with the tests now, the lab put them in the back slot and started doing the new ones,” Khawari said. “So, slowly every day they are trying to get the previous lot of back logs, and they’re doing it slowly and slowly. … The turnaround time was 48 hours. We didn’t have any problems until the omicron version of COVID came, and a lot of people got sick.”

Khawari said he’s just a doctor who wants to help people get tests so they can live their lives in peace. He is collaborating with the O’Hare lab in Chicago to run the Westport Road Baptist Church testing site, as well as two others. He said he is facing staffing difficulties to the point of having to recruit family members to help.

The people WAVE 3 News spoke to Wednesday at the site said they’ve never experienced a delay and have received their results the same day.

“I have to work and be around kids,” a woman who was tested there, Michelle Meade, told WAVE 3 News. “So, I have to know if I have COVID or not.”

Another woman named Cindy said she needed to get tested for her father’s sake.

“Well, it’s very important so I can bring my dad home from the nursing home,” she said. “It’s important because I’m going to be his primary caregiver, and if I can’t do that, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Click here to find COVID testing sites in Jefferson County.

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