NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A pop-up COVID-19 testing site in North Little Rock is causing frustration among testers after several patients had to wait up to two weeks for their results.
The drive-through testing on McCain Mall property is run by Covid Clinic, a national company that offers a variety of tests, both free and paid.
According to their website, the no-cost diagnostic COVID-19 PCR test offers results in 2+ days While many who attended the clinic said workers told them an average of 2 to 3 days to get results, some have found the wait to be much longer.
Kacie Kinchen went with her 8-year-old daughter to get tested and said the problems started from the get-go. The duo waited more than three and a half hours to get swabbed and were then told to expect results in around three days. However, 10 days later, Kinchen still doesn’t have her results and hasn’t heard anything from the company.
“It’s very frustrating,” she said. “I have received nothing.”
Kinchen is one of many who have commented on the popular neighborhood app Nextdoor, asking if others have had the same issue and encouraging area residents to find other clinics to attend. Some said it took close to a week to get results, others mentioned that inconclusive results returned or with a negative result even when a home test said positive.
Lane West is another client who had to wait. Her son needed a negative test to return to school sports but didn’t receive his negative results until five days after taking the test, when his quarantine had already ended.
Both say they had called the contact number on the website and reached out on social media, only to be met with automated responses. Kinchen added that she also filled out a “missing results” form on the clinic’s website, but still hasn’t heard back.
A representative from Covid Clinic said the reason for the delay is a 900% increase in testing at the North Little Rock location, from eight or nine people each day to 100. She added all samples are sent to local partner labs to be processed, but those who pay between $150 and $300 for rapid result tests have their samples pushed to the front of the line, with a 2-day to 2-hour promised delivery. When that happens, those that received a free test must wait.
Covid Clinic asks that testers remain patient as the high call volume continues and says the wait is often unavoidable. Three more employees have also been added to the McCain Mall site to assist with testing. In the meantime, the test is still being advertised as having a 2-to-3-day turnaround.
They also recommend upgrading to the paid rapid results test for those needing immediate results or those traveling or returning to work.