Patients report delay in COVID test results

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- After vacationing with her family on Martha's Vineyard earlier this month, once Cindy Rosenshein got home, she came to City MD on the Upper West Side to get tested for COVID-19.

She felt fine, she still does, but because she flew to the island and then wanted to see a friend who's battling cancer, Rosenshein didn't want to take any chances.

"She wants me to come out to Long Island, but her husband and her asked that I take a test before I go, which makes sense because I had been traveling," she said.

That was on July 6. She checked her patient portal every day, and there were still no results.

"What's the point of you taking the test? You might as well just quarantine yourself for 14 days, instead of taking the test," said Rosenshein.

It is not usual - right now the national testing system is being put to the test as labs struggle to keep up as the number of COVID-19 cases spike in certain states. The delays undermine the efforts to track, isolate, and prevent the spread of the virus.

RELATED: Where to find COVID testing centers in the Tri-State Area

In the Tri-State Area, the majority of COVID-19 tests are done by private labs. Patients have to wait a week or more for results because federal officials are asking for those same labs to prioritize high-risk states.

Even now, New Jersey is also feeling the strain. In the past, test results would take roughly three days Now it's more than five. Still, it's launching a new campaign targeting young adults and those in minority communities, which have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19.

"The campaign will underscore that to help contain the spread of the virus, we need residents to get tested and to take the call from contact tracers in our state," said NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot.

City MD does warn patients to expect a minimum seven-day turnaround, and apologizes for the delay.

In the meantime, Rosenshein is staying home until she gets word.

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