COLUMBUS (WCMH)– In early June, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that coronavirus testing would be available for anyone who wanted it.
That did not come with a promise that people could get tested quickly.
With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, there has been a corresponding increase in the demand for testing. The result, in some places, has been longer waits.
Natalya Nazaryian recalled when she returned from Florida on July 7, she decided to get tested as a precaution.
“I had also heard just like everyone else that now it’s all free and anyone can get tested if they feel like it,” Nazaryian said.
Like so many others, she found it was not so simple. Nazaryian tried to set up an appointment online with CVS, but was told she did not qualify. She tried another retail testing site, but got nowhere.
Her doctor’s office told her to call Ohio State, because there, she could get tested no questions asked.
“I called and the lines are so busy I couldn’t get a hold of anyone,” Nazaryian says. “It kept throwing me off to a customer service representative which was then …back in line.”
She called her doctor’s office again and got a referral for a test. With that she was able to schedule a test the next day.
Using the online sign up today, the next available appointment at the Walmart testing on Bethel Rd. was July 29th.
A call to a local urgent care center led to this recording: “Please be advised we are booking out at least three days. If you’re calling about your coronavirus test results, please be aware demand has greatly increased with tests and turnaround times for results have been impacted.”
Jenn Schehl at Heart of Ohio Family Health Centers explained that due to increased demand they have added more hours and an additional testing site.
“In the last week it just really skyrocketed,” Schehl said of the demand for testing. “We were doing testing five days a week but just in the afternoon at this site. We added mornings and within a day we were booked. So we just added testing at a third site today.”
Schehl explained her group’s wait for an appointment ranges from a day to a week depending on the location.
Getting the test result is not immediate.
“It’s a few days to a week. It just depends on how busy it is. We currently work with LabCorp and it just depends on their turnaround time right now.”