Increase in COVID-19 testing leads to delay in results

There is a delay in getting COVID-19 test results nationwide, according to local health officials.

They said it's because of the spike in coronavirus tests over the past two weeks.

In Fulton County, officials said the demand for more tests is overwhelming testing sites and labs.

"They are having difficulty with just keeping up with the volume of tests," Fulton County Health Director Dr. Lynn Paxton.

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Dr. Paxton said some people are now getting their results nine days later.

"90 percent of our tests fell into the two to four day range," she described about testing before the spok ein testing..

Gwinnett Newton and Rockdale County Health Director Dr. Audrey Arona said the delay in notifying then leads to challenges with contact tracing.

"You're asking people 'okay, your test was seven days ago, so who were you around nine days ago?'Right," she detailed. So it's harder to remember."

Health officials said efforts are underway to get results out faster including labs increasing their hours.

"We have increased our call center capacity by about double. As of today, we have about twenty phone lines open," Dr. Paxton mentioned.

Dr. Arona explained that because of the demand they're now doing upwards of 1,200 test a day.

On Wednesday, Gwinnett County reached more than 10,000 positive cases.

The highest number in Georgia.

"By testing more, you're gonna find more cases, of course. But I think we are seeing more community transmission," Dr. Arona explained.

Because of the delay, they are now telling people to assume they're positive and stay home until the results come in.

You should say also assume everyone around you is positive as well. Dr. Paxon said continue wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing to help slow the spread.

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.