State using new lab to process COVID-19 tests after major delays in results reported

The state has switched laboratories to process COVID-19 tests after people were seeing delays in results. 

The Florida State Emergency Operations Center tells FOX 35 News the state was using a lab Bioreference Laboratories to process COVID-19 tests, but that lab was experiencing nationwide delays with results taking on average six days. The state has since switched to Genetworx, which they hope will prevent further delays. 

Brandon Lee and Briana Scales waited five hours at the Orange County Convention Center COVID-19 testing site. Lee got his results in eight days, while Scales is still waiting for her test results. 

"If I got the results and they told me I have to quarantine, now that's two more weeks that I have to quarantine, even though I probably already had it pass through my system," said Scales. 

The couple has been self-quarantining together as they wait for Scales' results. 

"You basically have to quarantine until you get your results because you don't want to put everyone at risk," Lee said. "The system is just overwhelmed so something has to be done about it."

Jeff Berger also took a test on July 21 at the Orange County Convention Center. He waited more than a week to get the results. The test results were inconclusive because they didn't have enough specimens. 

"I waited nine days basically for them to tell me they couldn't tell me if I was positive or negative," said Berger. 

Dr.  Raul Pino, Health Officer for the Department of Health in Orange County, said the results may not be reliable if they take too long to process.

"In my personal opinion, a test that takes five days to come back is irrelevant because a lot of transmissions did happen," said Dr. Pino. 

At an Orange County Task Force meeting this week, Dr. Pino said labs are overwhelmed. 

"Some of the tests are getting to us late because of increased volume it's creating a bottleneck at the labs," said Dr. Pino.