Increase in demand for COVID-19 tests brings some result delays

COVID testing GS Labs
Posted at 6:01 PM, Jan 11, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the demand for COVID-19 tests continues to surge around the Kansas City area, some people are experiencing longer wait times for results.

Sonya Hooper said her family has been waiting nearly a week for their test results.

As a family in the Blue Valley School District, Hooper said it is important to them to test frequently after the district sent out a letter to families last week saying it will no longer notify families if students are a close contact from a school exposure.

"We decided to test prior to the start of the new semester just to be responsible knowing that the community was already experiencing higher numbers," Hooper said.

Labs around the metro are doing what they can to accommodate the surge.

Darin Jackson, medical director for GS Labs, said the company has been increasing its capacity at its locations across the country and in Kansas City, Missouri.

However, staffing still remains a challenge.

"It's hard, we are not immune like any other industry, I mean omicron is wreaking it's havoc across the country," Jackson said.

Jackson said the company is able to get rapid test results out within an hour but the surge is affecting result turnaround times for some PCR tests.

"As far as our confirmatory PCR, that has to get shipped to Omaha, and so we are at the mercy of the shipping process," Jackson said. "And then that's usually taking anywhere from 3 to 5 days unfortunately because of just the number of testing that we have there."

On top of doubling testing numbers at its sites across the country, Jackson said there is another alarming trend.

"We were lingering around the nine to 11% positivity rate in November and December, and then on Dec. 26 going forward now across all of our sites our positivity rate is in the low to mid-20s," Jackson said.

He echos other health care professionals encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and boosted if eligible.

"It does lower the significance of the illness that you have and the goal is to keep you off the ventilator and out of the hospital," Jackson said.

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