Dallas County leaders say private labs are returning coronavirus test results in a little more than three days, but the free, federally-funded sites, including at the American Airlines Center, take an average of eight days to return results.
Tarrant County does not have any federally-funded testing sites, but it takes an average of six days to return coronavirus test results in the county.
“The demand is very high,” said Tarrant County Director of Public Health Vinny Taneja. “It’s unfortunate that we’re in this situation, but we just have to be patient and hopefully we’ll get our results soon.”
Quest Diagnostics reported its labs ran about 400,000 coronavirus tests in March. This month, the lab has run 5.3 million tests.
Testing in the City of Dallas has ramped up dramatically too.
The two federal sites tested 28,000 people in June. The sites started testing 250 people per day but now test about 600 people a day.
But those test kits are sent to out-of-state labs, resulting in a slower turnaround for results, said Phillip Huang, the Dallas County public health director.
Kenneth Leu had an unusually long wait time. He went to an urgent care clinic with insurance and was informed 10 days later that they were unable to process the test. His 10-day wait is far above the average of 3.3 days for results.
Leu said he went on June 18 and was told it would take three to five days to get results.
He got a call Sunday saying that his test couldn't be processed.
"I've been quarantined for two weeks," Leu said. "I don't even know if I have it or not."
The Dallas County health director urges people to be patient.
“Anyone who has symptoms should absolutely stay home, isolate, assume that you have it,” Huang said. “If it’s 10 days after the start of your symptoms and at least three days after your symptoms have resolved, with no fever, without taking any fever-reducing medications, then you can then go back to work and feel safe.”
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