Delayed Results Cause Concern As COVID-19 Testing Site Sees Record Demand | WGLT

Delayed Results Cause Concern As COVID-19 Testing Site Sees Record Demand

Jul 7, 2020

UPDATED 9:25 a.m. | A record 405 people were tested Monday at Bloomington’s drive-thru testing site, as McLean County officials expressed concerns about delayed results.

Results are promised within four to seven days. The McLean County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) says results are typically available in two to three days.

However, McLean County Board member Carlo Robustelli said Monday he’s heard from constituents who’ve had to wait longer, or call four or five times to try and find out their results. Robustelli said he was tested there June 28, has made two checkup calls, and still doesn’t have his results.

“That’s extremely concerning to me for a variety of reasons, because that timeframe is so vital for the contact tracing program,” Robustelli said during Monday’s County Board Health Committee meeting. “It doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in the infrastructure we’re trying to build when that happens.”

The delays are not new, though they are magnified now that the testing site is so busy. The site tested a record 1,431 people last week, as cases spike around the country. Some of Monday’s testing surge (405 people) may stem from a state public health recommendation that anyone who attended a large Fourth of July gathering be tested within a week.

McLean County EMA acknowledged the delays June 27, saying on Facebook that a “technical problem with the data transmission was corrected,” and that results should start coming back more quickly. It said first responders and health care workers could inform testing site staff who they are to fast-track their results.

County Board member Randy Martin, a Republican from Danvers, said Monday he heard that a first responder was tested June 30 and still not received their results.

McLean County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said she’s spoken to Reditus Labs about delays. The Pekin-based company took over the site May 23. It was previously run by the state with federal support.

“The last I was told was that there was an issue, and it had been fixed. So hearing your story about results, and not receiving them, it shows me that maybe it has not been fixed,” McKnight said to Robustelli on Monday. “Obviously, it’s concerning for us, because for us to do contact tracing and control this, we need results quickly.”

McKnight said people can call the health department at (309) 888-5450 if they’re having trouble getting results.

Reditus CEO Aaron Rossi said the company's testing numbers (from Bloomington and other locations) have jumped from 2,700 tests per day to 5,100 over the past eight days.

"There are a ton of moving parts, and we are testing at many sites, and there are holidays and reagents, etc., that can cause us delays," Rossi told WGLT.

Rossi also said a company called Centene is tasked with actually reporting the results, not Reditus.

"We can give (Centene) the results but it's not our responsibility to do reporting, per the state," Rossi said. "We are at the mercy of Centene to get results to patient."

A message left with Centene was not immediately returned.

The drive-thru site at the Interstate Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. No symptoms are needed. Walk-ups and drive-ups are accepted.

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