Fresno County seeing increase in wait time for COVID-19 test results

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County is seeing another surge in coronavirus cases as health officials are now seeing double the number of people getting infected.

"It's a time where we need to be careful and wear a mask outside of our home," says Dr. Rais Vohra.

Fresno County public health officials are urging people to get tested, but more cases are leading to longer wait times to receive test results.

According to the state health department, patients received their test results in a little over a day during the first week of November.

Fresno County health officials say it's taking a little longer.

"There are bottlenecks in the system, there are shortages in this complicated chain that has to be worked out," Dr. Vohra said. "We hear about turnaround times that are longer. We're hearing about two to three days, people are waiting to have to wait longer from five to seven days.

In an effort to get more people tested and prevent waiting times from getting longer, the county is working with the state to launch more Optumserve test sites.

"We're targeting sites in Central Fresno, one in Reedley, one in Selma and some additional testing capacity in Coalinga and Mendota," says Fresno County Public Health Director Dave Pomaville. "We're not sure if on the state side.....the lab capacity is ready. We're going to get those set up as quickly as we can."

Health officials don't have a set day on when those new testing sites are expected to open, but they hope to have a better idea within a week.

The county health department also launched a new feedback page to get a better idea of wait times amid a second surge.

Hospital workers are bracing for another influx of patients.

"We have 36 nursing homes that are licensed in the county. And over a dozen are reporting outbreaks of three or more," Vohra says.

The Fresno County public health website shows more than half of cases are being traced back to community spread.

Vohra is encouraging people to get tested in some form while still staying home to avoid overcrowding hospitals ahead of the holidays.
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