WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — COVID-19 testing facilities in Washington County are being strained to the point where some people looking to get tested are being turned away.
Officials with Washington Regional told KNWA/FOX 24 testing facilities saw a significant increase in traffic over the weekend and into Monday, November 23.
They said there is plenty of testing kits and supplies, but the limitations are timing and staff.
We’re running double staff at our screening clinic as well as our urgent care clinic.PAULA STORMENT, VP CLINIC OPERATIONS, WASHINGTON REGIONAL
Washington Regional Clinic Operations Vice President Paula Storment said testing facilities have been swamped.
“Not at capacity, just really busy,” she said. “There may have been 5 cars I think on Friday and Saturday that we had to turn away and tell them to come back the next day.”
The Fayetteville Board of Health said at their meeting on November 18, many other testing facilities in the region are having the same problems.
We’re doing about 1,200 tests in the county a day, which is I think probably maxing out everybody’s ability.FAYETTEVILLE BOARD OF HEALTH
Problems that include staff being lower than it should be and not having enough hours in the day to keep up with the demand.
“Those folks are in full PPE all day long,” Storment said.
These facilities said they’re fine for now, but only time will tell.
Our staff is probably more committed than ever and they know what they are doing.PAULA STORMENT, VP CLINIC OPERATIONS, WASHINGTON REGIONAL
The Fayetteville Board of Health also said MANA was experiencing the same issues, so KNWA/FOX 24 reached out to MANA Family Medicine – South to confirm.
“I would say the volumes are overwhelming,” Dr. Ann-Magre with Mana Family Medicine – South said. “We have the supplies, but the staff is exhausted and cannot continue at this pace.”
Stay with KNWA/FOX 24 as we continue to follow this story.