COVID-19 test results delayed by human error and extra caution
The state has ended its relationship with a South Florida doctor contracted to communicate COVID-19 test results to people who took the test.
Published reports show notification delays are common, which was the case for reporter Mike Vasilinda in his own test results taken in the middle of May.
I went to this testing site on May 14th not because I had symptoms but because I wanted to show you what it was like to be tested.
I was given a ticket and directed to a woman, who took my name.
Then I was directed through the FAMU stadium, showed my ID to a national guardsman, then directed to stand on a red X.
“I’m going to swab your nose, ok?” said the doctor.
A swap was inserted in my left nasal canal and rotated five times.
Unpleasant, but not painful.
Then repeated in my right cavity.
As I left, I was applauded, and then told that if I didn’t hear anything in a week, give them a call.
I got a call on the seventh day, but it didn’t tell me my results.
I sent multiple emails, and I called the number given to me at the test site.
Testing contractor CDR McGuire’s phone log shows I was called again on May 29 and again on June 1st before they got through on the second.
Negative as expected.
Donna Wolfson and her husband of Sarasota waited 15 days for her results, which came back negative.
“It’s, the whole thing was just so frustrating, because if they want us to be tested, and are making decisions on that testing, if you don’t get the results, then what’s the point of getting tested,” said Wolfson.
The testing company in Sarasota is not the same company that handled Mike’s test in the state capital.
In a statement CDR McGuire reassured us that people who test positive are at the top of the list for being called.
CDR McGuire has now also launched a patient portal where patients login, are sent a verification code and delivered their results.
We received this statement from the Florida Department of Health:
"The state has increased testing at drive-thru sites across the state. Since May 1, we have opened sites in Sarasota, Lee, Santa Rosa, Miami-Dade, Escambia, Broward, Brevard and Volusia counties. In total, these sites allow the state to perform more than 4,000 additional tests per day. Overall, between state supported walk-up sites and state-supported drive-thru sites, more than 250,000 tests have been administered.
Every day, these sites send their samples to commercial labs for testing. These tests are performed as quickly as possible, and often are available within 72 hours of being received by the lab. Once the lab results are available, individuals are contacted as quickly as possible, with priority being placed on anyone who tested positive.
In order to expedite the confirmation of results, the state has expanded the capacity to contact individuals who are tested at these sites. Specifically, the state has streamlined these results to come from a HIPAA compliant, contracted call center, which can contact up to 10,000 individuals per day.
If anyone tested is having a difficulty getting their results, they can visit covid19resultsfl.com to view and print their results online or email COVID19Results@cdrmhealth.com. They can also call 850-583-2419 to leave a voicemail and receive a call back within 24-48 hours.
Additionally, to expedite result notification, a new service has been launched by Genetworx to provide notifications directly to individuals that have been tested. A text notification will be sent directly to the individual tested as soon as their results are available. To protect their privacy, individuals will then need to log in to the portal to receive their results," said Jason Mahon, Communications Director for the Florida Department of Emergency Management.