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WEDCO Health Dept. facing added challenges with COVID-19 testing

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 5:37 PM EST
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SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - WEDCO, the state’s health department that services parts of central Kentucky, has ended its COVID-19 testing agreement with a Texas lab.

A Scott County woman said no one from the health department notified her of this news and she hasn’t received her COVID test results, and it’s been eight days. The typical turnaround is three days.

“We saw a spike in testing and I think the lab just could not keep up,” said Dr. Crystal Miller, the public health director for WEDCO.

WEDCO services Nicholas, Bourbon, Harrison and Scott Counties. They had an agreement with a lab in Texas to conduct its COVID-19 test results to ease the work load inside the health department.

Dr. Miller believes the Texas lab couldn’t handle the numerous tests coming in from all over the country.

“Results were not given to our patients timely,” Dr. Miller said.

Caroline Arthur got tested at the Scott County Health Department on Jan. 3 and never got those results back. She went and got another test from urgent care, and it was negative.

WEDCO has moved on, getting results in state from Gravity Labs.

“We have a partnership with them and we’ve had it since the pandemic began and that gives me a lot of confidence that they are going to service our communities,” Dr. Miller said.

Dr. Miller said there’s a high demand to get tested in Scott County—some people waited over an hour to get one. On Monday they administered 128 tests.

“CVS, Walgreens, other places there were no tests available or extremely long wait times,” Arthur said.

The governor said Monday he doesn’t have plans to set up mass testing.

“Right now we don’t see any advantage with expanding the locations given that they’re already filling up. But if we got significant more testing capacity and we could turn it around on a reasonable schedule then it’s something we could certainly consider,” Gov. Beshear said.

Arthur said life would be easier if she could find a test over the counter.

“If you can’t get a test you can’t stop community spread if people have to go back to their daily lives,” Arthur said.

The health department in Scott County said in the last two weeks they’ve had at least 80 COVID tests ran per day.

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