Rhode Islanders frustrated with delayed COVID-19 test results


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Rhode Islanders in high-contact professions tell Eyewitness News they’re frustrated with how long they’ve had to wait for their COVID-19 test results to come in.

One case worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was tested on July 11 because of the high-volume of clients she’s been in contact with.

The lab that processed her test, East Side Clinical Laboratory, told her it would take three-to-five days for the test results to come in.

But when those days passed and she began to experience symptoms, she became concerned and contacted the lab.

“They told me it was running closer to seven days, or nine days,” she recalled. “We need to bring this to the attention of the government agencies who are controlling these test results.”

On Friday, the Rhode Island Department of Health learned that the lab had reported 113 false-positive test results between July 9-14.

While the case worker received her negative test result Friday afternoon, an emergency responder, who also asked to remain anonymous, said he’s been waiting nine days for his results to come in.

“It doesn’t come back in a timely manner, so it’s basically a waste of your time even getting the test,” he said.

He said he was tested after traveling to a state with a 5% or greater positivity rate.

Even though emergency responders are exempt from Raimondo’s executive travel order, he said his employer still requires a negative test result or 14-day quarantine prior to returning to work.

“You can’t really expect municipalities across the state to just say, ‘Well, he’s exempt, I’ll risk the rest of my population,” he said.

The Rhode Island Department of Health previously said the increased demand for coronavirus testing nationwide is delaying how long it takes for Rhode Islanders to receive their results from private commercial labs.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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