How COVID-19 test waiting period can affect physical, mental health

Reporter: Lauren Sweeney Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
This undated photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. (CDC via AP)

The number of reported positive coronavirus cases in Southwest Florida are nearing 300 Friday. And the results coming in are from tests done up to two weeks ago. So no one really knows how many cases there are at this time. And thousands of people tested are left to wonder what their results are.

We looked into the toll the test waiting period can have on an individual’s physical and emotional health.

Sherry Fischer says she waited 13 days to find out if she was positive for COVID-19. She finally found out the test was negative Friday morning. But, because she was waiting on a test result, she wasn’t able to get other medication she needed to take care of bronchitis symptoms.

We spoke to Fischer Thursday before she had her test results back:

“That’s one of the big frustrations,” Fischer said. “The test was done as a precaution for me. And, now, it’s become a hindrance to me getting health care that I need. I have watched my symptoms worsen. I have all this uncertainty.”

Fischer’s test was processed by LabCorp. We reached out, but the company wouldn’t comment on her situation. But the organization did share an emailed statement.

“LabCorp currently has approximately 80,000 tests (equivalent to about 2.5 days of our capacity) pending results in our laboratories,” a representative shared in an email with WINK News. “Typically, we have been able to deliver test results back to patients between 4-5 days from the date of specimen pickup.”

Lee Health says it’s getting results back in 48 to 72 hours. And, starting next week, it says it will be able to test specimens at its own Lee Health labs, further reducing wait times.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.