Minute-Clinic patients experience delayed COVID-19 test results, patients want answers

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INDIANAPOLIS — Some patients at CVS Minute Clinic say they have been waiting for COVID-19 test results for weeks. CVS advertises 6 to 10 days but for some, it’s been nearly three weeks and still no results.

That’s the case for Amanda Keeler, who started experiencing COVID-19 symptoms July 6 after a trip to northern Indiana.

“I had stopped at a couple of gas stations doing things like that. Didn’t wear a mask, quick stops, that’s on me, I’ll take full responsibility for that,” said Keeler.

She decided to go to the CVS minute clinic on 96th and Allisonville Road. The clinic told her results would take 6-10 days. On the website, it adds “our lab partners may take even longer to return results.”

“That is not an appropriate window of time to be telling people, because I trusted that. And they are not delivering on that,” said Keeler.

After 10 days she had enough.

“I started calling every day this week because we were then at day 10, 11, 12, of no results,” said Keeler.

She reached out to us and continued to call CVS.

“I waited on hold for about 30 minutes to be told I was being added to a ‘missing results spreadsheet.’

“My fiancé and I were honestly laughing at that point. We were like ‘you have got to be kidding me.’ Like they just lost a bunch of people results to the tune of having to make a spreadsheet of missing results,” said Keeler.

We reached out to CVS. They tell us from mid-March through the end of June they conducted 1 million tests across the country. Their third-party lab is responsible for processing and delivering results.

“With Quest lab and LabCorp and stuff, those are big national labs. They have 50 other states sending their testing to those labs to get done. 3:00 so your test may be batched in with somebody from Illinois, Ohio. It’s not a priority. It’s a lab, we get it done when we get it done,” said IU Special Pathogens Program Manager, Nurse Mary kay Foster.

We called the CVS COVID testing hotline and asked if we were to get a test on what lab it would go to. They said it was Quest Diagnostics. Information CVS Corporate refused to provide us when going through a Media Inquiry. CVS says an increase in cases and tests has caused backlogs for our lab partners and they are working to address the issue.

Nurse Kay says you should quarantine the moment you experience symptoms and shouldn’t go out until those symptoms cease if you haven’t gotten your results.

Keeler has stayed home the entire time pretending that she had the virus since she did not have her test results. She hasn’t had symptoms in the last 24 hours but is still concerned about the other patients who are waiting.

“I’m just really worried that this intense backlog is going to create a bigger economic issue than the virus has already created,” said Keeler.

CVS refused to answer our questions about the missing results spreadsheet and when patients are added to it. They’re suggesting patients who haven’t gotten their results continue to check their My Chart Account.

Keeler’s still says “you have no test results to display.”

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