Overwhelming amount of COVID tests, weather cause backlog in results

SPOKANE, Wash.– As COVID cases continue to surge, the demand for testing remains high. It’s also had an impact on people getting their results.

Some people said they have waited up to a week to get results back.

Discovery Health and Kaiser Permanente send their lab results to the westside of the state. So, last week’s weather played some role in the backlog of tests.

However, Discovery Health said its lab partner utilizes air freight, so last week’s winter weather didn’t cause too much of the testing backup. If people experienced a delay it was because of the overwhelming number of tests.

Discovery Health teams up with Spokane Regional Health District to operate community testing sites, such as the one at Spokane Falls Community Center, and the Fair & Expo Center.

Discovery Health said it is seeing a record amount of tests as high as the beginning of the pandemic. They were and still are seeing high demand from people needing a test for travel purposes, but it’s shifted lately.

“To people who are overflow for community sites just coming in to get testing before they have to return to work or they’re symptomatic, and that kind of thing,” Discovery Health COO Andrew Eaton said.

If you’re waiting a long time to get your test results, Discovery Health suggests you isolate if you’re symptomatic.

“Do your best if you’re symptomatic, isolating for that time frame just in anticipation of when you can get your test. And, if you do have a need to get a PCR test versus a rapid, try your best to get that appointment,” Andrew Eaton said.

There is some PCR testing available at pharmacies like Walgreens and Rite-Aid. You’ll have to check their websites for an appointment.