Bay Area COVID-19 test results delayed due to surge in demand

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Bay Area COVID-19 test results delayed due to surge in demand
CVS explains why it is taking so long for people to receive results from their coronavirus tests, especially on the West Coast.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- New data released Friday shows California still ranks 14th in the nation and Washington, DC when it comes to the most COVID-19 tests performed per million people. But some of the people getting those tests say they are waiting far too long for their results.

Evadne Williams got her coronavirus test on June 28, but still doesn't know whether or not she has the virus.

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Williams says it took just 10 minutes waiting in her car and five minutes getting tested for COVID-19, but she's spent much longer waiting for her results.

"It's going to be two weeks come Sunday and no test results yet," said Williams.

Williams took a free test at CVS which she says is being processed by Quest Diagnostics.

"I have some pre-existing conditions and I just wanted to make sure I was okay," she said.

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Originally she was told two to five business days for the results, then three to seven business days.

"I've been looking through my email almost every day nothing," said Williams.

ABC7 News reached out to both CVS and Quest.

In an emailed statement, CVS in part writes, "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."

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Quest directed us to their website which explains the western regions of the country are among those where demand continues to rise, outpacing capacity.

According to a Quest July 6 update, Quest writes, "We are doing everything we can to bring more COVID-19 testing to patients in the United States at this critical time."

Williams says her biggest concern is for people who are asymptomatic and waiting on test results.

"Other people might have it and they're exposing other people to this virus," said Williams.

Quest says turnaround times fluctuate with demand and vary by region.

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