FORT WORTH and DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Fort Worth recently began providing the public saliva tests at J.P. Elder Middle School to determine if they have COVID-19.
Michael Drivdahl, the Public Information Officer at the Fort Worth Fire Department said, “We’re getting people through really quickly.”
People aren’t having to wait long for results, just between a day and a half and two days.
While some labs are backlogged the City of Fort Worth, which partnered with Tarrant County, went with the saliva tests so it can spread out its options.
Drivdahl said, “They were able to increase our capacity and turn results much faster. And that’s also allowing some of these other sites to decrease how many tests they’re having to do today do each day so that they can actually start turning the results around a little bit faster as well.”
A second site will offer the saliva test at the Dickies Arena starting Tuesday.
The testing at both sites ends Friday.
Officials ask that those interested register on either the city’s or county’s website.
Regarding the delays at labs, Quest Diagnostics issued a statement late Monday afternoon: “Demand for our molecular diagnostic testing remains high as the virus has spread across much of the United States, particularly the South, Southwest and West. Persistent high demand has strained our testing capacity and extended delays for test results (turnaround time*).
As a result, our average turnaround time for reporting test results is now over two days for our priority 1 patients** and 7 days for all other patients. We expect that as our capacity continues to grow, we will be able to return to average turnaround times in the range of 1 day for priority 1 patients and 3 days for most other patients.”
At Paul Quinn College, the City of Dallas and the State of Texas teamed up for a five-day testing blitz.
The promise of quick results brought nearly one thousand people out here this weekend.
They’re also providing a saliva test that can provide results in two to four days.
The program, which began Saturday, ends Wednesday.
The state lined up another private contractor to provide tests at Mountain View College in Dallas, where they also turnaround results quickly.
And then there are the rapid tests, which for a fee, can provide results in an hour or less.
At Frontline ER in Dallas says they went from about 48 customers a day to about 175 in about a week’s time.
The company accepts appointments during the daytime hours and will take insurance.
During the overnight hours, it provides the test during a drive-thru and charges $200.
Laura Tschida of Frontline ER said, “People are coming here to get the results back quickly because some of them have already had PCR tests where they’ve waited eight to 14 days to get their results back and people want to know they’re positive – they want to know now.”
She says the antigen tests, approved by the FDA, are 100% accurate if positive but 80% accurate if negative.
Some businesses she says have been sending their employees for the tests before they return to the office.