Delays in test results concern Pa. health officials as COVID-19 cases rise across US

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  Pennsylvania health officials are concerned test results for COVID-19 are starting to take longer as cases climb across the country, saying that delay could impact their ability to quickly catch and contain outbreaks.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine said their state lab in Exton and most labs in hospitals can get results in 24 to 48 hours. 

But she said with cases climbing across the U.S., it now takes more time. 

“The amount of tests being done in the country is a real challenge to these national companies. Some of our delays are seven days or more,” Levine said. 

That’s a concern, she said, not only for the person waiting for results, but also for tracking and trying to identify and limit outbreaks.

She said they do have calls scheduled with LabCorp and Quest to talk about the delays, but noted it’s a national issue in terms of their testing capabilities.

Levine said quarantine for people traveling from Arizona, Florida, Texas and California is only a recommendation and they are not enforcing it.

She also said when cases first started popping up in Pennsylvania, it was in younger age groups, and then it spread quickly through communities. 

She said Pennsylvania is seeing the cases in those younger age groups start to climb again, which is a reminder to wear masks and stay 6 feet away from people.