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Delays in test results & appointments

“It was stressful — it made me angry"
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Posted at 6:20 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 18:45:14-05

HAMBURG, NY (WKBW) — With spiking COVID cases in Western New York and across much of Erie County, some residents are reporting delays in receiving test results and securing an appointment.

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Joanne Aumer, Hamburg resident, waited nearly three weeks for test results.

“It took 20 days — one day short of three weeks,” declared Joanne Aumer, Hamburg resident.

Aumer described how long it took to receive results from her COVID-19 test.

Aumer said she wasn't feeling well, so her doctor ordered COVID tests for Aumer and her husband. They went through a drive-thru where you administer the test yourself, but Quest Labs provided the results.

Aumer was told she would get results in three to five days, but that didn't happen.

“Made me sicker really — you know — because we were so stressed,” Aumer recalled.

Nearly three weeks later, after quarantining for two weeks, Aumer said she found out she was negative.

She said she was frustrated especially when she heard how quickly NFL players are tested for COVID.

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Joanne Aumer, Hamburg resident.

“But because they're pro football players — or whatever — it was frustrating. It made me angry. I was very angry,” reflected Aumer. “It was stressful — it made me angry.”

The Erie County Department of Health is experiencing a high demand for COVID tests. The county said there is no average wait time, but they book appointments three to five days out.

A spokeswoman for the health department says as of this week, appointments for diagnostic test sites are filled, but more appointments should open later this week.

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Testing site outside of ECC South in Orchard Park.

There are other testing sites available. You can find them by clicking here for a pop-up map on the county health department website.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the county only conducts 1,500 of the 40,000 tests conducted each week in the region.

He said you should call your doctor first when planning to get a COVID test.

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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz at Wednesday COVID briefing.

“And your doctor might be able to write a prescription for you to get a test at a lab that actually may be closer to your house than the county offers,” Poloncarz stated.

But waiting for test results has been another trouble spot in the county.

This tweet was in response to Poloncarz earlier this week.

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The person who tweeted said they tested positive six days ago, but still had not received a call from a contact tracer.

On Monday, county health commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein apologized for delays in the notification process, admitting some people waited too long before finding out they tested positive.

“And I want to personally apologize for that — the buck stops here and we should not let that happen,” Burstein said.