SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York is no longer a hot-spot for COVID-19, but people expecting to get quick test results are, in some cases, having to wait more than a week to get their results back.
The combination of high demand for test processing services in new hot-spot states and mandated testing for essential workers in New York has once again bogged down the national lab system.
Despite the delays, the Syracuse Community Health Center is averaging about 1,500 to 1,800 tests a week. In late March, the health center was getting results back within 24 and 48 hours from its two labs Quest Diagnostics and Aegis Laboratories.
This, of course, wasn’t before a similar delay in test results when the pandemic began and the lab system had to ramp up capacity.
According to the center’s Chief Operating Officer, Derrick Murry, with national labs like Quest, Aegis, and Lab Corp, now handling increased testing from states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida, things are once again bogged down. The same labs also handle testing from urgent cares and surgery centers.
“It has been a huge concern of ours, as well as our neighbors and colleagues here in our community and our goal, obviously, is to work with labs that can provide a quality service and a speedy turnaround and so this has been frustrating on all fronts,” said Murry.
While the delays are discouraging for Central New Yorkers looking for a quick result, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is still encouraging people to get tested, as the results are necessary to keep the region open.
McMahon added during his Monday press conference that the county is also hoping to contract with a third lab and ultimately speed up the process.
The Syracuse Community Health Center continues to test people Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.