Labs warn of test result delays amid coronavirus surges

Commercial and clinical labs are warning that there may be extended turnaround times for COVID-19 test results amid an uptick in demand for testing as cases rise across the U.S.

Quest Diagnostics said June 29 that the average turnaround time for nonpriority patients' test results will be three to five days due to the increase in demand. It used to be a one-day turnaround. 

The commercial lab said it will still be a one-day turnaround for priority patients.

The American Clinical Lab Association, a nonprofit representing labs that perform a large portion of COVID-19 testing in the U.S., also said June 27 that the increase in demand for testing will likely strain members' supplies in the coming weeks. 

"The anticipated demand for COVID-19 testing over the coming weeks will likely exceed members' testing capacities. This significant increase in demand could extend turnaround times for test results," the association said in a news release.


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