COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Amy Barth Williams is pretty sure she has COVID-19, but she’s been waiting for her test result for 13 days. She says the state’s daily report on coronavirus cases is incomplete.
“That’s not what’s actually walking around amongst us right now because these results are taking so long to get back,” Williams said.
Williams says she traveled to Liberia and Costa Rica for spring break and developed flu-like symptoms about six days after she returned. Her doctor ordered a COVID-19 test and she was told to expect results in about five days.
“At the time, I thought, ‘Wow five days that’s kind of a long time to wait,” Williams said. “Now I’m on day 13 and still no results.”
Williams said she has self-isolated not wanting to risk giving the virus to any other family members.
“Not being around your family at this time is hard,” Williams said. “If you got results back sooner, that would take some of that separation anxiety away also.”
Williams says her sample was sent off to a private lab. State officials, including Governor Mike DeWine, have grown so frustrated with the delay in test results from third-party labs, that they’ve now ordered Ohio hospitals that don’t have their own labs to send coronavirus tests to Ohio hospitals that do.
That includes The Ohio State University, which developed a test with Battelle to provide results in a matter of hours.
Dr. Peter Mohler, Vice Dean of Research, said OSU is ramping up capacity to handle the expected influx of tests.
“I will tell you, even in the last week since we launched our test with Battelle, we’re working on being able to to redesign it and fix things to make it go faster and screen more people,” Dr. Mohler said.
Dr. Mohler said increased testing will give researchers valuable information not only for purposes on containing the virus but also for eventually beating it.
“We’re working on being able to use research to start coming up with anti-virals to come up with therapies that really combat and deal with the people that are infected,” Dr. Mohler said. “Testing is good on the front end but it also helps us identify therapies and cures on the back end.”