Quest Diagnostics surpassed 9.2M diagnostic test results delivered to date
CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- This week Quest Diagnostics surpassed 9.2 million COVID-19 diagnostic test results delivered to date, but persistent demand is extending delays and continuing to build a backlog for critical test results.
Quest Diagnostics claims its turnaround time for test results is currently over two days for priority 1 patients, which includes hospital patients and symptomatic health care workers. It says the turnaround time is 7 days for all others. But according to some people, the wait is actually weeks-long, rendering the results basically useless.
Alan Braslow of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is one example. He was concerned that he was exposed to the coronavirus after being served at a restaurant by someone who wasn't wearing a mask.
Braslow said, "I decided I need to get tested in order to be safe. I have a 99-year-old mother in law who I help with."
So Braslow did a nasal swab in South Jersey on July 8, and says he was told results from Quest Diagnostics would come within the week.
But when we first talked to Braslow, he told us, "It's 16 days later from the test, 18 days from when I thought I might have been exposed. Why did I bother taking the test?"
Braslow self-quarantined for two weeks while waiting but says, "Not everyone is going to self-quarantine. And I have to believe I'm not unique. Other people are getting the same runaround."
And it gets even worse.
Braslow then got word that about 240 tests, including his, were either lost or damaged at Quest labs. He had to retake the test this past Sunday.
He told Action News, "They said, this time we can get it back within 48 hours because of the screw up."
Braslow did get his second test result Tuesday morning and it was good news. The test came back negative.
But Braslow has a message. He is urging others to reach out to their legislators to do better.
"Let's do what's right for the country. Let's get our testing together. We need, as a country, to get our act together before we create more of a problem health-wise and financially," he said.
Quest says it can currently perform 135,000 molecular diagnostics tests a day and it is working to increase that to 150,000 tests a day by next week.
It also says as its capacity continues to grow, "We will be able to return to average turnaround times in the range of 1 day for priority patients and 3 days for most other patients."