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Demand increasing for COVID-19 tests as more venues require results within 72 hours

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Posted at 12:43 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 12:45:22-04

CLEVELAND — The number of businesses, organizations and events requiring a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test result is growing. So too, is the demand for results in 72 hours, creating a flood of tests at local labs.

News 5 Cleveland spoke with two local labs, both of which issued statements on how they’re adjusting to the increased demand to get results on time. However, even with this safety measure in place, local doctors still have some concerns.

In the last four months, libraries across Northeast Ohio started handing out free rapid COVID-19 tests from the state.

For months, pharmacies have sold at-home COVID-19 testing kits and due to the demand, places like CVS are limiting how many you can buy at a time.

“As much as we can keep COVID cases down, life will just be easier for everyone,” said Dr. Claudia Hoyen, an infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

In September alone, testing kits were flying off the shelves in thousands as more venues and even schools started requiring them.

Those places include Playhouse Square, Severance Hall, The House of Blues, The Grog Shop, Beachland Ballroom, Happy Dog, Music Box and others.

Beginning Monday, October 4th, both artists and fans at local Live Nation venues will have to be fully vaccinated or show a negative test.

“I would hope that if somebody is required to have a test to attend something that after they've had the test, they would ensure that they're doing the right thing in terms of masking so that the chances of them staying negative up until that time are important,” said Hoyen.

Quest Diagnostics sent News 5 a statement saying they have performed over 57 million COVID-19 tests since it started services in 2020 and it continues to provide most results within one day.

Meanwhile, Labcorp responded to News 5’s inquiry saying in part, despite declines in testing early this year, it did not reduce testing capacity. Labcorp can perform 300,000 tests per day with a one to two-day turnaround.

Hoyen worries receiving delayed test results could lead to further spread if a patient turns out to be positive and didn’t know it.

“People who are not vaccinated are going to be better transmitters than people that who are vaccinated,” Hoyen said. “But we do know that even people who are vaccinated can spread.”

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