As Rhode Islanders wait for test results, Raimondo says turnaround time will shorten
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Shaina Weintraub says she took a COVID test in June and still hasn’t gotten the results back yet.
“I have no idea what happened there,” she said. “Especially because I was in a car with my roommate, and she heard back within the next week.”
Weintraub says she understands there is enormous pressure on the health department. But she thinks the state shouldn’t have encouraged more people, including asymptomatic people and millennials, to get tested, before it had the capacity to process those tests.
“It’s problematic,” she said. “It’s going to disrupt a lot of families. Being transparent, being open and honest with Rhode Island is going to be the best thing. That doesn’t excuse the delay, but at least I understand it.”
But Governor Raimondo says she’s confident the state will be able to reduce the average testing turnaround time.
She’s apologizing for delays, admitting that testing has been a challenge and that the system has been overwhelmed.
“Where we got into trouble, which is where most states got into trouble, is we were very reliant on these out-of-state commercial laboratories,” Raimondo said. “And they got behind, they got backed up.”
But she says new this week, contracts with two laboratories including Rhode Island-based Dominion Diagnostics, will be a game-changer, expanding testing capacity to 2,000 tests per day and guaranteeing a turnaround time of 48 hours.
The governor says the average testing turnaround rate has already dropped from 5 days to 2.5 days in the last month.
“We’re much better now on test turnaround time than we were a month ago, and a month from now I expect us to be even better,” she said.