While COVID-19 testing has increased across Texoma, some individuals are still waiting for their results.
Among those affected locally was Lloyd Rodgers of Sherman, who was tested on May 13 at Walmart in Sherman. As of Friday afternoon, Rodgers still had not received the results of his test.
“I was concerned, and I am still concerned, about some difficulty I am having,” he said. “I am in what I would consider the ultra high risk group because of my age and my health condition.”
Representatives for eTrueNorth, which is conducting testing outside of the Sherman Walmart, said this week that a number of tests from the location have been delayed due to processing issues.
However, officials said they hope to have results back to patients by early next week.
In addition to his age, the 70-year-old said he had respiratory conditions, and he has lost of part his lung which requires him to be on oxygen constantly.
“I was running a fever and having real trouble breathing, had a cough, and all the symptoms and all of that.”
Rodgers said he has self-isolated himself since his symptoms surfaced.
“If I am positive for the Corona virus, and I took a test on the 13th, how many people might I have come in contact with in the 10 days since,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said the email he received said he could cancel the current test and instead be retested some time next week. However, he said he is ready to simply wait until next week for his results.
“Unfortunately, there has been a delay by one of the contracted laboratories used for analyzing COVID-19 test kits,” the company said in a letter to affected individuals. “This delay has resulted in individuals having to wait much too long to receive their test result.”
“If you participated in testing at one of the affected sites, we expect you to have your result by early next week. We realize this delay is inconvenient and upsetting and we are doing our best to obtain your test result.“
Tom Wiser, communications for eTrueNorth, said the delay has affected four of the nearly 250 testing sites that the company operates. Wiser said he could not give an exact number to how many delays the Sherman site has had, but all of the tests conducted locally have seen delays.
“We are trying our best to test as many Americans as possible and provide test results as quickly as possible,” the eTrueNorth site said. ”Again, we apologize for the delay and thank your patience as we work through this unforeseen issue.”
In total, less than 1 percent of the total tests conducted have been affected.
“Of course, if one test was delayed, this is unacceptable,” Wiser said. “Since the delayed tests came from 4 sites across the country, I don’t readily have available the exact number of tests from Sherman.“
The company said that the delay is not at all related to the test itself, and instead is related to the lab that is processing the samples. As a response, the company has contracted with a new lab and hopes to have results back much quicker than before.
“The new laboratory that we are using for all future tests will be able to provide test results within the 3 to 5 business day turnaround time,” Wiser said.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.