COVID-19 test results delayed as testing increases

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — COVID-19 testing is typically free and can be done at one of many drive thru locations in the Valley. But that’s the easy part.

Getting your results can be a test in patience.

Some people are waiting a week or even longer to get results. 8 News Now took a closer look at why.

“When we were sorta by ourselves back in March and April, we had a long wait list,” said Michael Gardner, CEO of UNLV Medicine. “By the time May came around, we were down to where we could get people in the very next day.”

Gardner said they’ve been testing at UNLV’s Shadow Lane location for 15 weeks now and conduct about 2,000 tests a day.

“We actually briefly switched labs to UMC because they were able to turnaround faster, but as they got overwhelmed with their testing center, with their testing, their lab with Thomas and Mack and also Texas Station, their times were starting to extend.”

The lab they are now working with has been able to reduce the wait time to five days.

Experts say as the number of people getting tested increases, the timelapse between getting tested and getting your results is going to get longer.

“Right now, most of the urgent cares are getting the lab samples and sending it off through their national labs,” Gardner explained. “…We know Quest told physicians that they are way behind.”

Sara Fallentive was tested on July 4 through “Care Now.” They told her to wait three to seven days for results.

It’s now been 10 days.

“It frustrates me that the test results we’re reporting all these rise in cases, but you’re 10 days behind, so I feel we won’t have a full picture on what’s going on in the State of Nevada.”

Gardner said, “The only way I can see that that can be rectified is by expanding lab capacity. It may be that we have to put in public money into temporarily having labs that are running the test, whether that’s at a federal level or a regional level to assist.”

8 News Now has learned most urgent cares got an approval of machines where you can do the test and get answers as early as 15 minutes. Those tests could be available by September.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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