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Delayed test results causing frustration among potential COVID-19 patients

74-year-old cancer survivor among group tested June 23 still waiting for results

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – As Florida continues to see rising numbers of COVID-19, it’s important to keep in mind that there is often a dayslong delay between the time someone gets tested and when they learn their results.

The delay is causing big problems and frustration for some who are getting tested for the novel coronavirus in Central Florida.

News 6 saw long wait times again Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center, which leaders say is the busiest COVID-19 testing site in Florida.

State health leaders told News 6 the delay in testing statewide is in partly due to the high demand for testing and a nationwide delay in testing results.

The Department of Health released the statement on Thursday about the delays:

"When the state was notified that individuals were experiencing delays in results at the Orange County Convention Center, we immediately looked into the issue and are working with Bioreference Laboratories, which conducts testing for the site, to ensure results are provided as quickly as possible. After receiving an update from Bioreference regarding turnaround time at the site, they have informed the state that testing delays have currently resulted in an average turnaround time of 6 days. Typically, individuals can receive their results between 48 – 72 hours.

If an individual is having difficulty obtaining their results, we encourage them to email ESF14@em.myflorida.com.

When Bioreference informed the state they were experiencing a nationwide delay in results, the state began sending tests from the Orange County Convention Center testing site to Genetworx to prevent a further delay in individuals receiving their results.

The state will continue working with Bioreference to ensure individuals receive their results in a timely manner.”

Also on Thursday, many seniors at the Covenant on the Lakes Senior Housing Facility on Rio Grande Avenue said they’ve been waiting for their testing results for almost two weeks.

Ellie Daley, 74, said she and many of her neighbors were tested on June 23. She’s a cancer survivor and wants to know her status.

“We don’t know if somebody (has) it or is a carrier (or) what, you know? I’d really like to know what’s going on,” Daley said.

Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin is doing her part during the pandemic and dropped off food and masks to seniors at the facility, since many of them are still in quarantine while waiting for their test results.

“We just want to make sure they’re healthy and at least have something,” Siplin said. “They want to know ‘Am I positive? Am I negative? And what’s going on with me health-wise?‘”

News 6 learned late Thursday that the seniors at Covenant on the Lake should be getting their results soon. The Florida Department of Health said their results came back Wednesday and are being processed. They said the testing there was done by the state’s regional IMT strike team.


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