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Riverside County says labs ‘have promised’ more staff to fix slow COVID test turnaround

KESQ

The Riverside Department of Public Health pointed to understaffed private laboratories as the reason behind an increase in delays to COVID-19 test results.

Jose Arballo, the department's senior public information officer, said "generally in the past, we were able to get test results back between 24-36 hours at the most. Now, we’re talking 2-3 days before we get them back.”

Arballo said private companies that do testing “have promised to increase their staffing so that they can have a quicker turnaround. “

He attributed the increase in response time for getting test results to an increase in interest in testing over the last few months.

Arballo said Riverside County believes a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant is pushing more people to get tested, in addition to the return of a variety of activities that require testing in order for individuals to participate "like returning to school, returning to work, athletics, extra curricular activities." 

He said testing numbers for the county have increased “quite dramatically” over the last two to three months, going "from around 100 per 100,000 people to in the 400's."

However, he pointed out Riverside County is still below the state average.

Tune into News Channel 3 at 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. for more details regarding Riverside County's plans moving forward in regards to the expansion of testing sites and the potential use of rapid antibody testing.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3

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