Spiking COVID test requests for children bogging down area pediatricians and testing labs

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INDIANAPOLIS — As COVID cases continue to rise, local pediatricians and testing sites are finding themselves overwhelmed with requests.

“I think testing soared because children went back to school,” believes pediatrician Dr. Eric Yancy, “When you have large groups of children, they will transmit things back and forth. Factor in the significant resistance to mask-wearing that a lot of folks have, they keep passing things back and forth.”

Children under 12 are still unable to get the COVID vaccine. Dr. Yancy says getting a test can be tough now as labs are backed up. Adding to the struggle, Dr. Yancy says that some test sites won’t accept samples from children under 12. With symptoms of COVID being similar to other illnesses, he says it can be hard to adequately determine what a patient has without a test. At times he is seeing parents opt for quarantine instead of waiting for testing availability.

“We end up saying many times we can’t get you the test, so let’s let you sit home for ten days, and then at that time, whether you had it or not, you aren’t contagious anymore,” explains Dr. Yancy.

Aria diagnostics is a local testing lab. They have seen a 300% increase in test requests from area doctors. The vast majority are coming from pediatricians.

“Fortunately for us with COVID, we never stopped testing, so we have been able to see the trends for the last 18 months now,” details Vipin Adhlahka, President of Aria Diagnostics, “The other day we had an entire classroom come through our drive-thru testing site. All 26 students and their parents got tested for a known exposure.”

Adhlakha says 90% of their positive cases have come from the delta variant.

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