Coronavirus testing backlog continues in Ala.

COVID-19 testing backlog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you’ve been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting on results, you’re not alone. We’re looking at the backlog and what’s taking so long.

State health officials tell us it can take seven to eight days for some of the independent commercial labs to turn the results around. At UAB, it’s a lot faster because of in-house labs.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says testing that comes to the state can take up to 72 hours, but lately he says it’s taking 24 hours to get results.

Harris tells us the backlog is not with the state but with pop-up testing sites run by independent labs.

“They’re collecting large numbers and they’re using the big commercial labs for that. And I think the numbers just kind of overwhelmed the system. Remember there were no tests for this disease until January and no tests widely available to anyone until late February,” Dr. Harris said.

Rapid COVID-19 testing could soon be in Alabama. The state, UAB, and others are working to get their hands on those tests which can produce results in just minutes.

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