COVID testing organization flying tests to Puerto Rico to get faster results

One organization is trying a unique alternative to speed up test processing.
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:00 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - In the world of testing for COVID-19 testing, waiting to get results has moved from three to five days to a week or more, and one organization is trying a unique alternative to speed up test processing.

Each Friday in January, the Ector County Health Department is partnering with Community Wellness America to offer free covid testing.

“Most of the reason is because of the lack of testing. People were having difficulties getting tested,” said ECHD Director Brandy Garcia.

People are also having problems getting results, so CWA is trying a different approach by using a lab outside the continental United States.

“The organization found an exclusive lab in Puerto Rico—20,000 acres—seeing the demands, offered it to us,” said CWA Corporate Communications Director Gloria Apolinario.

CWA overnights the tests via plane to Puerto Rico, so they get to the lab within 24 hours.

The goal is to knock the time it takes for people to receive results down from a week or more to 2-to-3 days for as long as necessary.

The lab expected to test about 400 on Friday, down from the previous week. The ECHO hopes that the increase in other testing sites will help alleviate the pressure on testing centers.

“After the month of January, we’ll reevaluate, and if there’s still a need, we’ll continue through February,” Garcia said.

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