La. experiencing lengthy delays in getting COVID-19 test results back

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:17 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Getting your test results from a state or federal testing site in Louisiana could take up to 14 days, according to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). The delays are caused by an increased demand for testing, which has put a strain on the labs tasked with processing them.

“It’s a very big problem We’ve been communicating very aggressively with our federal partners and it’s going to continue to be an issue. We think we need better access to these testing reagents and other parts of the supply chain to make the testing more reasonable here.”

Dr. Joseph Kanter, assistant state health officer at LDH

Not all test results take two weeks to come in though. Dr. Kanter says most are still coming in within a week, but the supply chain problem highlights issues that may require the state to restrict who can be tested.

“If these supply chain issues continue, we may need to go back to rules in place previously where only people who are symptomatic or had a particular high-risk contact can get tested.”

Dr. Kanter says however long it takes for you to get your test results back, if you have been exposed, you need to quarantine yourself for 14 days.

“If folks think they were exposed, they really do need to quarantine for 14 days. Period. And any test they may get in the middle of that, even if that test is negative, it doesn’t negate the need to quarantine for 14 days. You still have to do it.”

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