CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of coronavirus tests lost? A woman tested in a state-run drive through location told CBS 2 she waited and waited for her results, calling repeatedly to check on them only to hear a large number of tests are gone.
CBS 2’s Tara Molina is taking that woman’s claim to the state, asking how the department of public health and the company running the tests could lose them and how exactly how many people were affected.
Kelly O’Keefe waited in a line at the drive through testing facility in Harwood Heights for almost four hours but says she may never get her results. She called Illinois’ Department of Public Health results line after waiting almost two weeks for her results.
“I was told by the guy on the phone that basically they lost thousands of tests and that a bunch of testing facilities were affected,” she said. “I was extremely baffled.”
So she called another Public Health number and says another employee said the same thing.
“‘We are having issues with losing tests, and a lot of the tests that were done, they weren’t tested within the 72-hour window. We are letting people know that they may not be accurate,’” she quoted. “He told me they were missing thousands of tests, but he said we found them it’s just taking awhile to get those results back.”
CBS 2 found the Harwood Heights testing location closed for the day Wednesday, already at capacity but took concerns to the Department of Public Health, the Governor’s Office and Quest Diagnostics, which is one of the companies running tests for the state and the company Kelly was directed to.
A spokesperson for the governor’s office said none of the state-run sites have lost results, but when asked about whether Quest Diagnostics had reported issues, CBS 2 didn’t hear back.
“If you can’t handle that many tests a day, then it’s better to not give that many tests a day and do what the labs can actually handle,” O’Keefe said.
The governor’s press secretary said, “We don’t have a single site that has lost results.” The office also released the following statement:
“The Harwood testing site has now processed over a hundred thousand tests and was called a national model by senior officials in the federal government. All who are tested receive multiple call backs with their results and also receive contact information to call in to get results. While federal contracts with commercial labs initially returned results in 10-14 days that timeframe has since dramatically decreased and state labs and state contracts have always returned results in a matter of days. The state has received federal funding to build out our testing capacity and is now running over 20,000 tests per day with plans to continue to expand capacity in the weeks and months to come.”
CBS 2 will continue to reach the state and the companies they’re working with until we get answers.
Kelly has been told she can go back and get retested, but she says after isolating for two weeks while waiting for her results, she’ll let the test go to someone else.