COVID-19 testing demand on the rise in Northwest Arkansas

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As COVID-19 cases rise, so does the demand for tests. In Fayetteville, Washington Regional is now having to turn people away because more people are coming to get tested than they can handle during their hours of operation, and PCR testing supplies are running low.

It started January 4. Dr. Mark Thomas with Washington Regional says up until now there hasn’t been much concern for testing supply, but now, it’s a different story.

Thomas says it takes three to five days to get test results back. The drive-thru testing center will remain open as long as tests are able to be returned in that time frame, but Washington Regional will have to consider closing it if the turnaround time to get results back gets longer than three to five days.

“I would like you to share my apologies with all of the people that come and expected and have been turned away because the line was so long,” Thomas said. “I wish I had more resources, more people, more testing, faster ability to test people.”

Thomas says , if anyone is turned away, his best advice is to take advantage of other testing sites in the area instead of not getting tested at all.

People can also return to the test site the next day and try again. Thomas says the Washington Regional testing clinic is open seven days a week.

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