Health official urges minimal contacts for all who get tested as commercial labs experience backlog

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The Fayette County Health Department and New River Health teamed up again on Monday in Smithers to test 108 people for a community-wide testing event.

With more widespread testing across the state and country, Fayette County Health Officer Dr. Anita Stewart says this has created a backup in commercial labs. 

“Everyone in the country is trying to test, so with commercial laboratories there’s a backlog of testing,” she said. “We just don’t have the capacity to run millions and millions of tests per day and especially with states like Arizona, Texas, Florida doing widespread testing, you know, we’ve kind of jammed the system.” 

Back when the Fayette County Health Department first began community-wide testing, each person was told they would receive their results in about 48 hours or less. Now that widespread testing is more common, that time span has doubled as they now are telling people it could take up to five days to get results. 

That is why Dr. Stewart is urging those who get tested to limit their contacts and be mindful of who they are around and how many people they are around in the days leading up to receiving results.

Because if they’re not quarantining, that is more days for them to be out exposing others. 

“So the key is less contacts, staying more physically distanced, wearing masks when you can’t do so and that way if we would happen to call you with your positive that you don’t have to say, ‘Oh no. I was at my friend’s barbecue this weekend and have potentially exposed all of my friends and family,’” Dr. Stewart said.  

As cases statewide continue to climb, Fayette County is seeing their numbers go up steadily as well. Dr. Stewart says it is not one specific culprit and that they are still seeing every type of transmission. 

“My biggest concern is that we are on such a rapid upswing and that yes, right now, we currently have capacity, but I’m concerned that we’ll exceed that capacity pretty quickly from both a public health standpoint as well as a receiving facility and healthcare standpoint,” she said. 

Here are more opportunities in Fayette County to be tested this week:

Fayette County Health Dept.: J.W. and Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center

Tuesday: 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

New River Health: Old Kmart lot in Oak Hill

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

No doctor’s order or appointment needed.


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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.