Why are Lot J test results taking so long?

People say they’re still waiting on test results up to 10-12 days after getting tested

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Many of those who showed up at Lot J to get tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday were disappointed to find out that the site had already reached its daily testing cap.

That’s just one frustration Northeast Florida residents have been dealing with as they try to find out whether they’ve been infected with the coronavirus amid the public health crisis.

Another source of frustration? The length of the wait for people to get their test results.

Cars have been lining up daily outside Lot J, the federal testing site for the Jacksonville area, in hopes of getting tested. Those lines have only grown longer as access to coronavirus testing has expanded.

More and more people have become eligible for testing at the site as officials have waived the requirements that individuals be of a certain age or have a feverish temperature.

Testing at Lot J, one of several testing sites open in Jacksonville, is open to those working on the frontlines of the outbreak as well as those who have symptoms of the virus, including a dry cough and difficulty breathing.

In a Tuesday conference call with the City Council, Mayor Lenny Curry said more than 3,600 people have been tested in Jacksonville, including nearly 2,500 at Lot J.

Curry acknowledged that people are frustrated with tests being capped at 250 a day.

“I know this has got some people concerned, but they put the limit on it based on supplies and the ability to get the tests through the labs,” the mayor said.

Among those waiting for test results is Dr. Charles Booras, a medical professional who was tested 10 days ago because he traveled out of the country. Booras said he’s been self-isolating ever since.

“I won’t dare go out there until I know I am not a carrier,” Booras told News4Jax. “Because we do think there are a lot of cases being transmitted by people who are asymptomatic.”

News4Jax has been told that private labs helping the government have been swamped, and labs are prioritizing notifying those with positive results over those who test negative.

“As a physician, I am very disappointed in the delays of getting test results back,” said Booras, adding that he anticipates a lot of positive tests coming out of the Lot J site.

Others spoke with News4Jax on the condition of anonymity, including an individual who cannot return to work until their test results come back.

“I’ve just been…stuck up the creek without a paddle because I don’t know what I can or cannot do due to my abilities, knowing if I have it or not,” the person said.

Those who get tested at Lot J can check LabCorp’s website for results, according to Fire Chief Keith Powers.

The Lot J site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, or until the daily limit of tests is reached.

Other testing locations

The city-run testing site near the Prime Osborn Convention Center is open to Jacksonville residents only.

Patients need to undergo screening and get an appointment through Telescope Health. Doctors notes from other health care providers are not accepted.

To complete the screening, just visit TelescopeHealth.com or download the Telescope Health app using either the App Store or Google Play. It’s free of charge with the promo code HERE4YOU.

RELATED | Who can get tested at the Lot J & Prime Osborn testing sites?

Additionally, Ascension St. Vincent’s has been conducting drive-through testing. Patients who go to that site have to be pre-screened by an Ascension provider.

One way to be screened is by heading to Ascension.org/onlinecare. Users can also download an app.

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