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Increase in state COVID-19 testing sites also increase turnaround times for results

Hundreds of cars lined up at CenturyLink Sports Complex to get tested for COVID-19 over the past two weeks.

Right now, many people are asking, what’s the point of getting tested if you don’t get the results back quickly?

When the state COVID-19 testing site first opened up earlier this month, long lines of cars wound through its parking lot with drivers waiting for testing.

On Monday, that long line was gone, but that doesn’t mean the wait is over.

Alicia Shaw has been waiting for results after being tested at that site, “I have eight reasons that I wanted to be tested – Two daughters, five grandchildren, and a son-in-law.”

That’s why she and her husband went to the CenturyLink Sports Complex to get tested, but 11-days later, still no results. Which means they’re still waiting to see their loved ones.

“Both my husband and I are in our ’70s, we don’t have a whole lot of time,” Shaw said. “And when we are denied the ability to see those we love, it’s even more difficult. It’s painful.”

The site administrators Amy Bollen and Susan Lindenmuth say the hold up isn’t on their end and they hear the community’s concerns.

Llindenmuth is the director of public affairs with Estero Fire Rescue. She says “The delay at this point is out of our hands. The best that we can do is make sure that the testing procedure runs smoothly and that everyone is doing their part on this end.”

And Bollen is the director of public relations with South Trail Fire & Rescue. She added, “We are taking those concerns, we feel them and we are giving them to our commanders. We passed them along to our contacts at the state, they are aware of the concerns, but at this point, the commercial lab has to work through those test results and the call center has to make those calls.”

WINK News asked Florida’s Department of Emergency Management about the delay.

They say, since May 1, the state opened more testing sites adding an extra 4,000 tests in need of processing each day – a demand that clearly takes more time to handle.

For Shaw, it begs the question, “If you’re not getting the results, you might as well not do the testing.”

Bollen said people who test positive will be contacted first. But, if you feel sick or think you might have COVID-19 symptoms, you might want to consider getting tested through your health care provider instead.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Derrick Shaw
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