Promised quick turnaround, customers wait 7+ days to get COVID test results from Bay Area company

According to Virus Geeks' website, results are promised within one to two business days

Stephanie Sierra Image
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Customers wait 7+ days to get COVID test results from local company
Frustrated customers are waiting more than a week to get their COVID-19 test results from a company that is promising results within a day or two.

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- Frustrated customers are waiting more than a week to get their COVID-19 test results from Virus Geeks, a company that has more than a dozen test sites across the Bay Area.

"I'm tired of waiting," said Marilyn Moore, a Virus Geeks customer.

Moore scheduled an appointment to get a PCR COVID test at one of the company's test sites stationed at the San Mateo County Event Center.

"At first it seemed pretty organized," Moore said. "They schedule your appointment and send you a QR code."

According to the company's website, results are promised within one to two days. Moore was promised results within three days, but it's been a week of silence as of Monday night.

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Same story for San Francisco resident Jenny Shao.

"It worries me but it also aggravates me," said Shao. "It defeats the purpose of getting tested waiting this long."

According to state data, only 3% of labs facilitating COVID-19 testing across California took five days or longer to report test results in early January.

"That's unacceptable," said Dr. Mike Wasserman, who advised state agencies on the pandemic response during his time on the vaccine advisory committee. "Any company that's producing anything that has more than 24-hour turnaround times...we're wasting our money."

The ABC7 News I-Team brought this issue to authorities in San Mateo County -- where a majority of the company's test sites are located.

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"It has to do with the reagents and the availability of reagents," said Dr. Shruti Dhapodkar, the Emergency Preparedness Manager for San Mateo County Health. "I know that we are urging our contractors and staff to make sure that it's testing that's relevant... making sure that we're getting our results back in a fairly good amount of time."

In an automated email sent to the I-Team, the company wrote:

"We hope to get back to the standard one to two business days in the very near future and will continue to update you throughout the next few days."

But a week later many people, like Moore and Shao, have yet to hear back.

"They said they would call back," said Moore. "Well, they never called."

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The ABC7 News I-Team reached out to Virus Geeks for further comment on the backlog, but haven't heard back. The company is contracted with both the San Francisco and San Mateo County Public Health Departments. Both counties tell us they're working with the company to provide resources to help improve turnaround times.

Still waiting for your results?

The state tracks testing turnaround times by facility. According to data from early January, 57% of those licensed testing facilities are reporting results within one day. You can find that list here.

Can't find a rapid antigen COVID test?

Zoolert tracks the inventory of COVID tests both online and in stores and allows consumers to purchase and ship directly to your house. Click here for more info.

Find a COVID test site by your zip code here.

VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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