Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Local coronavirus testing sites feel a strain to have results processed. The reason may be different than you think

(Associated Press photo)
(Associated Press photo)

As coronavirus cases rise across Hampton Roads and the Peninsula, it may take longer to receive your COVID-19 results.

Many testing sites are continuing to be overwhelmed with processing the amount of testing being done in the area.

Irene Ferrainolo, spokeswoman for the Peninsula Health District, said running out of testing supplies is not an issue, but there is a backlog for processing tests and getting results back to people.

“The amount of testing that’s going on has just gone up as the cases go up,” she said. “Unless the number of cases starts to go down, we’ll probably continue to have that bottleneck.”

Most facilities process tests through LabCorp. Because of the influx of testing, the average waiting time to receive results is five to seven business days.

The Virginia Department of Health’s website displays models that project the number of reported cases and predicts how many cases will occur in the following weeks.

According to VDH’s models, James City County reported 139 positive cases last week. The model predicts that by the end of this week, the county could have as many as another 174 cases.

Since early July of this year, COVID-19 have been growing quickly in James City County. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health)
Since early July of this year, COVID-19 have been growing quickly in James City County. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health)

York County is not better off. The VDH’s model shows the county had 110 newly reported cases last week. This week, they predict York County will have 141 more cases.

When Gov. Ralph Northam announced stricter guidelines for the area last week, he said the state’s COVID positivity rate is 10.8, where places like Chesapeake, Suffolk, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampton are anywhere from 9.9 percent to 18.6 percent.

The surrounding Peninsula is about 8.7 percent positive. Last month, it was just 3.4 percent.

COVID-19 cases are rapidly spiking in York County, and according to the Virginia Health Department, they won't stop any time soon. (WYDaily/Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health)
COVID-19 cases are rapidly spiking in York County, and according to the Virginia Health Department, they won’t stop any time soon. (WYDaily/Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health)

Ferrainolo said so far, all of the testing sites in the Peninsula area are all overwhelmed.

There are two testing sites in Yorktown. There is M.D. Express Urgent Care, 4740 George Washington Memorial Highway, and the CVS Pharmacy, 4432 George Washington Memorial Highway. Neither location was immediately available for comment.

Darby Sizemore, coordinator at Williamsburg Urgent Care, said “Our testing supplies are fine. We have them, we just don’t have an ample amount of them.”

Williamsburg Urgent Care and Velocity Urgent Care in New Town both offer the nasal swab test to detect the virus and the antibody test to see if a person possibly had the virus. Both tests are also run through LabCorp.

Jill Overton, a registered nurse at Williamsburg Urgent Care, said the antibody test takes about 24 hours to get results back, unlike the nasal swab.

Overton said ordering supplies is tricky. She said the urgent care orders about twice a week. This past week they tested 80 to 100 people.

Ferrainolo said it does not help that so many employers are requiring employees to get tested before returning to work.

“Those tests only give you your status the day you were tested, so you really shouldn’t derive peace of mind from that,” she said. “It’s not even CDC recommended.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has further information on their website about what to do if you are sick.

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