Pawtucket mom says her daughter’s rapid test results took too long

School Updates

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) says rapid test results are supposed to come back the same day the test is administered, but one Pawtucket mom tells 12 News the results for her 4-year-old took more than 24 hours to come back.

Katherine Munoz says during her daughter’s first week in pre-kindergarten, she came home with a fever. She reached out to her pediatrician who recommended getting a rapid test for COVID-19.

Munoz brought her daughter to a Stop & Shop testing site in Pawtucket on Saturday morning. She said that she was told to expect a call later that afternoon with the results, but never received one.

“If they say it’s rapid, you need to get it done and that’s that,” she said. “I was literally glued to my phone. I didn’t get a call back.”

The results did not come back until Sunday morning, according to Munoz. She says it is problematic for school-aged children.

“What if there is a child that is asymptomatic and they haven’t warned any of the other students and parents?” she said. “I was more concerned for the other students.”

Munoz went to a K-12 testing site that is one of more than a dozen locations designated for school testing.

“Rapid test results are usually available the evening someone took the test,” Joseph Wendelken, a spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Health, said. “For the PCR tests, those are generally available after 48 hours.”

Wendelken said people have the option to call for their results, but Munoz said she called twice and was told her results were not ready.

“It just doesn’t make any sense to me, there is a flaw there somewhere,” she said.

The apparent delay is in contrast to what Gov. Gina Raimondo said last week about the testing system for schools.

“If you use this system that we set up, we can guarantee same day results,” Raimondo said.

As more schools report positive cases, Munoz says she hopes the test results will come back sooner to help keep outbreaks under control.

Wendelken said they will be rolling out a school by school breakdown of positive cases that will be made available on their website later this week.

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