Increased testing means longer wait times for results

Increased testing means longer wait times for results

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s been nearly two weeks since the Coastal Health District began COVID-19 testing at the Savannah Civic Center. It’s a move they say has only benefited them from the climate control to workflow.

“We’re averaging maybe 30 to 40 more test a day then we were averaging at our peak at Sallie Mood, but when we extend the hours we think we will go from roughly 575 a day to maybe 700, 750 a day,” Coastal Health District Director Dr. Lawton Davis said.

While they don't know when that change of hours will come, they are hopeful. Leaders say they've seen a lot of interest in testing and will offer walk-up testing for those without transportation.

All this demand has slowed down the return of testing, but Dr. Davis says the lab they use is working to expand.

“I think that during the expansion the problem actually slows it down a little bit, but once they get the new equipment online and personnel in line, it will speed it up. So, we were averaging 2-3 days turnaround and now it’s up to 2-4, 2-5 days depending on I guess where our specimen fall in their cue,” Dr. Davis said.

He said there are several places in our area offering testing besides the Coastal Health District. While you should check their cost and qualifications, this is also an option for those wanting results.

“They are using the same technology and testing that we’re using, and I am all for as many people providing testing to the public as is possible,” Dr. Davis said.

Currently, the community transmission index sits at about 524 per 100,000 people. We also have a positive test rate of 15 percent some days and are seeing more hospitalizations from COVID-19.

Dr Davis said he hopes to see numbers decrease as masking becomes more frequent, but only time will tell.

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