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Coronavirus test timelines vary based on lab location

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TUCSON - Whether it is a test at school, job, or the doctor, we typically want the immediate results.

However, that is not the case for the Coronavirus test.

Vicki Greiff was exposed to COVID-19 at bridge club in early March.

Greiff's friend tested positive for the Coronavirus.

"We had some five to 10 minute conversation at about three feet apart," said Greiff.

Greiff did not really feel sick but said she had a sore throat.

On March 17, Greiff went to her doctor and was tested for the Coronavirus.

"They said it would be somewhere between three and four days to come back," said Greiff.

As days passed with much anticipation, Greiff called Labcorp to track down her test.

"My test was sent out to North Carolina and it had not been done because of how backed up that lab was," Greiff said. "It took 10 days for the results to come back."

Greiff's results came back negative.

According to Aaron Pacheco with the Pima County Heath Department, samples get sent to a few locations throughout the United States to be processed.

Pacheco said the tests samples "are not being processed down the street."

"They are getting processed somewhere else," said Pacheco. "Sometimes they are able to turn them around really quickly, it is really a capacity issue."

Furthermore, a group of UArizona students traveled to Seattle for Spring Break.

When they returned home on March 14, one of the students, Harrison Redmond, started to feel symptoms of the Coronavirus.

"Chest tightness and heaviness, pretty bad dry cough, a really really bad headache," Redmond said. "In the first two days, I had a fever."

Redmond decided to get tested and went through the Banner University Medical Center drive-thru testing site.

"They walked me through the pre-screening process. They approved me for a test. I drove around to get a test," Redmond said. "The timeline they gave me was five to seven days."

Redmond was really surprised when his results came back negative.

Redmond is thankful for the results because he lives with his girlfriend who has underlying health conditions.

"Ensuring that I was tested and got my results back in a timely manner was not necessarily life and death for me, but could have been for her," Redmond said.

The Pima County Health Department said if you are sick enough to get tested, you should self-quarantine until the results come in.

Allie Potter

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