Some patients seeing delays in COVID-19 test results


HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW)- Some patients are waiting to find out if they are a confirmed case of COVID-19. Some private labs said turn around time for COVID-19 test results is four to five days, but as one local pastor’s wife has been waiting for nearly two weeks.

“I know what it’s like to have your wife wheeled down the hallway in the hospital and not know if you’re every going to see her again,” said Kim Strong, Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church.

Margo Strong was tested, treated, and released from the hospital after doctors believe she had coronavirus. It’s been 10 days and she still doesn’t have her test results.

She was tested at McLeod Seacoast Hospital, and Kim Strong said his wife’s test was sent to LabCorp.

“I think if we could get our results back regardless of what they were some of the fear would be gone,” said Strong.

News 13 reached out to the private testing company who did not specifically answer if they were experiencing a backlog but sent this statement:

“Turnaround time for results is approximately 4-5 days from the date of pickup of a specimen for testing to the release of the test result. Test results are most typically reported electronically, which generally allows for faster delivery. This timeframe can vary based on demand, the length of time to transport the specimen to LabCorp’s facilities test facilities, and the prioritization of patients.
We are continually working every second of every day to increase testing capacity.”

Other area hospitals send their test to LabCorp, their competitor Quest diagnostics, or DHEC directly, all of which are reporting similar turn around time due to unprecedented demand.

DHEC cites one reason for delays is due to a nationwide shortage of the chemicals needed for all labs to perform coronavirus testing.

Strong said two people in his congregation have tested positive for COVID-19 and said there are others like his wife waiting for results.

“This is a virus that doesn’t just affect you and the people in your home. Potentially, it affects everybody,” said Strong.

Strong said he doesn’t blame the labs as he and his wife remain in self quarantine until results come back and doctors clear them to leave the house.

Strong said he’s praying for those waiting because he knows its power.

“My wife would not be home if it had not been for the power of prayer and the numbers of prayer to a wonderful God,” said Strong.

At this time, DHEC does not recommend everyone who is ill to get a COVID-19 test, and advises those people to stay home and seek medical attention if symptoms get worse.

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