Labs overwhelmed by testing; state talks partnership expansion

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 testing labs across the state are becoming overwhelmed as cases spread, causing delays in results.

“Really, the great thing [is] that all of these labs and everybody is focused on one goal, which is getting rid of this pandemic, which is testing as many people as possible,” said Aria Diagnostics President Vipin Adhlakha.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve found that wait times for tests and results differ from site to site across the Hoosier state. Adhlakha says their lab is working with clinics to make testing easier.

“Typical turn-around times these days is less than 48 hours,” said Adhlakha.

Meanwhile, the Marion County Public Health Department is working with the pathology lab and the infectious disease lab at IU to turn around results quickly, though it all depends on when you get tested.

“If you come in on Friday, we don’t get to the lab until Friday night, the business day doesn’t start until Monday, so that’s still a delay,” said Marion County Public Health Department Incident Commander Virgil Madden.

That’s because part of the results processing only happens Monday through Friday during business hours. So now, the state health department is working to partner with more labs to provide quicker results.

“We’re working to bring another lab on board that can take several thousand tests a day and hope to have them ready within the next couple of weeks,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box.

Aria Diagnostics says it is ready and willing to help since it has the ability to conduct up to 5,000 tests a day.

“We’re ready to accommodate it, and really, the goal is to get as many people as possible tested. We’re trying to reach out to other people who are testing as well to take on their overflow,” said Adhlakha.

The Marion County Public Health Department tells Hoosiers that results could take up to four business days. If you get tested on Thursday, your results will arrive at the lab Thursday night. Friday marks the first business day, Monday marks the second. You should have results no later than a week after your test date.

As it gets cooler, the Marion County Public Health Department is starting to move testing sites indoors. The south side location is now located at 7300 E. Troy Ave. at the Marion County Fairgrounds. Testing takes place on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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