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Quest Has Backlog of 160,000 COVID Tests, Yet Continues to Accept Specimens

Quest Has Backlog of 160,000 COVID Tests, Yet Continues to Accept Specimens

By    |   Thursday, 02 April 2020 06:50 PM

A New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics laboratory has a backlog of 160,000 coronavirus test orders following a surge in requests over the last week, a delay that has resulted in some patients not receiving results for up to 10 days, according to internal documents obtained by CNN.

The company, which has labs in 12 cities, also continues to accept specimens from around the country despite the logjam.

Quest, a commercial lab, has performed and reported results of more than 400,000 COVID-19 tests to providers and patients in the U.S., and on Thursday said it was ramping up its testing capability to 30,000 tests per day following the CNN report.

Quest said, on average, that a test result takes four or five days.

Some tests can be expedited for patients who are hospitalized and for healthcare workers who are symptomatic.

"Hospitals and healthcare systems can submit specimens from these patients to us with a 'high priority' designation," Quest said. "As a result, these specimens will be expedited within our standard first in, first out testing process."

Many health care workers have criticized the pace of coronavirus testing, including some who said they had symptoms and were told they would not be tested because of a shortage in tests.

In California, more than 57,400 people have pending test results, according to The Atlantic.

Dina Greene, a regional laboratory director for Kaiser Permanente in Washington State, did a trial run with Quest, but “we quickly realized that it was a no-go and we needed to stick with UW,” she told the Atlantic.

“Quest has overpromised to prestigious institutions and medical centers around the country, and people are used to relying on Quest for quick and cheap results, but those time and time again have proven not to have the best quality. And in this situation, it has been disastrous to patient care.”  

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A New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics laboratory has a backlog of 160,000 coronavirus test orders following a surge in requests over the last week, a delay that has resulted in some patients not receiving results for up to 10 days, ...
quest, tests, coronavirus, specimens
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2020-50-02
Thursday, 02 April 2020 06:50 PM
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