FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Concerns over the turnaround time for coronavirus test results continues to grow.
Natalie Pridmore went home sick from work on June 29 and she got tested the next day but getting her results back is taking much longer than expected.
Pridmore said she followed protocol and told her job she wasn’t feeling well. She had a bad headache, body aches and a fever. She went to the drive-thru testing event at the Washington County Health Unit to get tested for the coronavirus on June 30. She was told it would take three to five days to get her results back. Two weeks later, nothing.
“It’s so frustrating not being able to know. I might be negative and I’m still waiting for two weeks and my roommate is waiting for two weeks, and my work is short-staffed because I’m not there.”
Pridmore went and got a second test, this time at Kara’s Health Care Unit in Fayetteville on July 8. She was told to expect a 7 to 10-day turnaround. She is still waiting for those results too.
Pridmore said she’s called every day for the past week and was told that the labs are pretty backed up. Though discouraged about the wait, she said she physically feels better and has been free of symptoms for over 10 days.
She worries that the wait people face for test results and financial reasons from being out of work will deter some from getting tested.
We asked Dr. Nate Smith, the Arkansas Secretary of Health, why the health unit is taking so long and if tests are backlogged. He told us he’d look into it. We also reached out to Kara’s Health Care Unit for comments but haven’t heard back.