Davis Health System responds to national covid test shortage

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:29 PM EST
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ELKINS, W.Va (WDTV) - People across the country are waiting hours for a covid test.

This after lines at testing centers continue to grow as at home tests fly off the shelves.

More people are testing positive for covid-19 than ever and now, the tests themselves are in short supply, a problem not seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Because omicron is more spreadable more people are needing these tests s what we’ve ended up with is a very significant lack of the rapid tests for covid,” said Dr. Catherine Chua, Chief Medical Officer for Davis Health System.

Dr. Chua says West Virginia’s positivity rate is almost 20%.

“and what the means is that we have a significantly higher amount of people testing positive than what we’ve had even in prior surges on a given day”

Elkins resident Peggy Bennett says she started coming down with symptoms and went to Davis Health System to get a covid test Sunday.

“So this was around 11:30 or so and I sit until 20 after 3 and some of the cars were leaving on and off and I sat there and I pulled up and we kept moving up moving up and then all of a sudden car left and I said to myself ‘wow they gave up already? They sat there all day,” said Bennett.

Bennett says that’s when she was told to leave.

“They said ' we’re not doing anymore testing and I said ' are you serious, I’ve been here I’ll day,” said Bennett.

She tells me she tested positive for covid.

“My daughter actually went and got me one from the store and it was positive we took two and it was positive,” said Bennett.

Doctor Chua says what clinics are having to do at this point is to ration the rapid tests and use those tests specifically for people who have had symptoms for 24 hours or longer.

“There is a significant lack of resources for making the tests and then a lack of tests as well and just overall some tests are being diverted to areas with larger explosions of covid in order to try and decrease the amount of people spread who are spreading it”

Doctor Chua says Davis Health System is currently seeing an excess of 100 and sometimes up to 120 and 130 patients coming for a covid test a day.

“Because of that our wait times are much longer than they have ever been and for that reason we are very apologetic,” said Dr. Chua.

Dr. Chua says the Davis Health System has double the staff because of the higher volume but even with increased staff, it is still taking a long time to meet the demand.

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