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Lab companies backed up with coronavirus tests, causing long delay in returning results

Posted at 8:19 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 18:31:15-04

CLEVELAND — According to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, since the beginning of July, nearly 20,000 coronavirus tests are being conducted in Ohio every day. But this increase in testing is causing a major delay at lab companies who are processing the test, said Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda.

"You should not just be going to get a test to see if you have it, because that's causing these big delays on the lab end of it," Skoda said. "Testing is getting more difficult in Summit County in the state of Ohio to get done because labs can't keep up. They can't process the number and it takes 11 days, 10 days to get a test back," she said. "

On June 11, Governor Mike DeWine opened up testing to anyone in the state of Ohio, symptomatic or not. But Skoda encouraged anyone who's not showing symptoms to avoid getting tested. She recommends talking with your primary care physician to see if the test is necessary. If you don't have a primary doctor, Skoda said go to your local urgent care and seek their advice.

"We've been trying to really help educate folks around and this isn't just go get checked. But I think people are curious and they want to know if they've had it. The antibody testing isn't easy to come by, so they just go and get a test. Well, those days are over."

Part of what makes the situation so difficult, Skoda said, tests results can vary based on how they're given and when.

"This is a point in time test. You can be negative today and positive tomorrow, and we've seen it," she said. "So I would say go back to good old fashioned sense and if you don't feel well, call your doctor, stay home and then decide if you need to get tested."

The health commissioner also added for those who choose to get tested should stay home and avoid others while waiting for the results, in case they are positive.