South Carolina COVID test results are back on schedule

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 4:33 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said it is back on schedule after reporting delays in people receiving their COVID test results.

Officials say private labs and testing vendors have reported that all backlogs have been cleared and turnaround times for test results are back to the regular 48-hour time frame.

The agency attributed the delay to a processing issue that stemmed from a large volume of testing data being funneled into a single software system.

“The long upload times of these very large data files created a backlog that could not be accelerated any, nor could those data files that were waiting to be uploaded, they could not be analyzed and responsibly vetted,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC’s Public Health Director, said during a briefing Wednesday.

DHEC explained that while electronic reporting from labs and health care providers is preferred, not all labs are able to electronically transfer the results into its system. Some submit spreadsheets to DHEC that must then be uploaded to the reporting system.

The agency staff has been working 24 hours a day to resolve the issue and develop a permanent fix to prevent future delays, Traxler said.

She said DHEC is continuing to make sure labs understand that delays like the ones experienced are unacceptable.

“We will not continue to partner with them if things are not resolved in a satisfactory manner and in a satisfactory timeframe,” Traxler said.

From reports by WIS and other sources