Some South Carolina residents having to wait on COVID-19 results

Some South Carolina residents having to wait on COVID-19 results

SOUTH CAROLINA (WTOC) - Thousands of people in the Lowcountry have gotten tested for COVID-19.

But they haven’t always gotten their results back in two to three days.

Hilton Head Hospital in coastal Carolina has held private and public testing events over the last few weeks but the time it takes to get the results back may change.

Drive-through testing has become a staple for those worried they have COVID-19. Hilton Head Hospital in Beaufort County sees 50 to 100 patients per day on doctor referral. In the last few weeks they have also had publicly held events in partnership with DHEC, and hundreds more come out for those.

But it’s taking some people over a week to get answers. Hilton Head Hospital says there is a reason some answers take longer than others. They report labs return results within two to three days. But communication could delay results if you get tested on a doctor referral, the lab or even testing site does not return your results; your doctor does.

This means results may go through two to three parties before they reach the patient. We asked the CEO of Hilton Head Hospital how this time could be cut down.

“So, if you get tested at one of these events, we are going to try to get these results back to an ordering physician. If you had a physician that ordered your test, they will get the results. I would tell everyone to be on the lookout for a call from a number they may not recognize. If you get tested you may get a call a couple days later, make sure you answer that call. Make sure you’re not blocking any calls, make sure your voicemail is cleaned out. All of these things can add to delays in getting you your test results,” said CEO Jeremy Clark.

The hospital also says test results may take longer when there are large scale community testing sites, but not much. The advantage to those tests are that they are totally free, whereas private or doctor ordered tests may not be.

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