Long delays for COVID-19 test results reported at some CVS locations in the midstate

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MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — For months, increasing Covid-19 testing was a major hurdle across the country and here in Pennsylvania.

With that testing now up to speed, some are experiencing delays in getting results back.

“Took a total of nine days to get the results,” said Ed Gallagher, from Carlisle. “Was totally in the dark on it.”

Nine days of waiting…nine days without any answers. The wait was agonizing, Gallagher said.

He was tested Saturday, June 27 at a CVS on the Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg, after being advised by his doctor to do so following potential exposure from a relative — he was told to expect results in two to four days — but that didn’t happen.

On Monday, July 6 those negative results came in, without any explanation about the delay.

“At one point I called CVS and said you know, ‘it’s been over a week now, what’s the story?'” Gallagher asked. “[You] go for testing and don’t get results, yeah it wears on you on a day-to-day basis.”

We’ve heard similar complaints from midstaters — so we asked about their wait time.

On Facebook, Tabby said: “My husband ‘got tested’ last Monday, just got the results today [July 6]. It was ridiculous how long it took.”

Jennifer posted that, for her, it took “six days for results. I was told results in 2-4 days.”

Many though, aren’t seeing delays at all. Korinne commented about the ease of the drive-thru testing at CVS, saying “I waited about two days for results and received them on a portal.”

Gallagher understands there is an increase in demand for testing, but says better communication is needed.

“If something happens, be proactive and communicate that ‘we’re sorry, its gonna take a little longer than we told you upfront,'” Gallagher said.

A CVS spokeswoman offered the following statement in response to delays:

We have the capacity to do up to 50 tests per site per day. We have 69 sites in PA.

As for timing on testing results: We are committed to expanding COVID-19 testing capabilities across the country, and providing patients with results in a timely fashion so they can take the appropriate next steps. In some cases, patients who have been tested at our CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations may experience a delay in receiving their test results, due to high demand and temporary processing capacity limitations at our third-party partner labs.

There have also been reports of appointments being canceled at the last minute, and patients not knowing until they show up. People have also complained of having similar issues at Rite-Aid, and Urgent Care-type places.

Most of those companies do require you sign up on their respective websites before coming for a test.

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