A CLOSER LOOK: did a COVID-19 test … but where’s my result?

A Closer Look

Dr. Smith: "There is not a backlog at the public health lab ... why they didn't receive results ... we'll look at that"

FILE – In this May 23, 2020, file photo, a vehicle arrives at COVID-19 testing site at Steele Indian School Park, in Phoenix. Coronavirus cases are rising in nearly half the U.S. states, as states are rolling back lockdowns. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Many Arkansans who tested for COVID-19 in late June are still waiting for their results.

KNWA/FOX24 has received several emails, basically asking the same question, “what happened to my test results?”

The tests in question are from June 27 and June 30 and were done in Fayetteville.

Below is the response by Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith regarding the June 30th tests:

Dr. Smith said the turn-around time should be 24-48 hours from the public health lab — assuming the tests were received. He also said there is not a back log, but will look into what happened.

Natalie Pridmore is one person who tested June 30th at the Washington County Health Unit in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her situation was that she left work to get tested because she was not feeling well. Now, she can’t return to work until she receives the result.

Natalie retested on July 8 at a different Fayetteville location and is still awaiting that result.

Meanwhile, she’s been without pay.

According to Natalie’s dad, Stephen, he wonders about the system.

“She [Natalie] tried to do the right thing and get tested to protect her co-workers, family, and friends,” he said. “Now, it’s been more than two weeks and she doesn’t have the results.

She’s been quarantining, along with her roommate (who has also been without pay), not knowing whether she needed to, or not.”

Stephen called the testing process broken and hopes to bring attention to the results and communication side of the process.

“This disincentivizes people from acting responsibly, by among other things potentially penalizing people who may not be sick.”

Another couple — a veteran and his wife — was tested at the VA facility on North College Avenue, in Fayetteville, on June 27, and as of Wednesday, July 15, have not received their results. “We called the Arkansas Department of Health, and the VA, and no on could tell us anything,” she said. “I was given a phone number in Little Rock for the health department and it would ring once then it was dead air.”

Testing in the state has dipped compared to the end of June, according to a chart shown by Hutchinson on Wednesday.

“We’re doing a lot of work to try to increase the testing in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said.

The state has received 5146 test results over the last 24 hours as of Thursday, July 16.

Hutchinson said there’s a challenge due to a backlog of tests from commercial labs.

“It’s having an impact on the number that’s coming in, even though 5000 is still a very strong number of tests,” the governor said.

He said the state may not reach July’s testing goal of 200,000.

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