As COVID-19 tests increase, many are waiting days for results


TAMPA (WFLA) -Emman Ortiz drove to Raymond James Stadium Wednesday to be tested for coronavirus because he believes he’s starting to feel the effects.

“Right now I’m just teetering with a fever, with chills going on. It just came out of nowhere today,” said Ortiz.

The state has taken over the testing at Raymond James Stadium and is now testing up to 1,000 people each day.

Mari Sallaberry came with her daughter to the stadium to be tested because her daughter received a positive test result after attending a birthday party with more than 20 people.

“We are getting retested. I got tested two weeks ago and they lost it,” said Sallaberry.

Sallaberry isn’t the only one dealing with long result wait times some people are reporting it can take up to two weeks to get test results back. Quest Diagnostics is processing many of the tests in the area.

“We are ramping up our capacity to reach 150,000 molecular diagnostic tests a day. This week, we expect to ramp up our capacity to reach 115,000 of these tests a day. While we have the supplies to meet our current capacity target, we continue to work with our industry partners on platforms, reagent test kits, and other supplies to ramp to our target capacity of 150,000 tests a day.”

Quest Diagnostics

For people like Dustin Schlemmer, getting the test results back as soon as possible is important as he has to travel for work and needs to know now if he has the virus.

“It could get really serious in ten days and I’m going to be around people who may or may not already have it,” said Schlemmer.

Schlemmer spent more than an hour in his car at Raymond James Stadium on Wednesday and expects his results back in three to five days.

Before the state took over this Raymond James Stadium testing site it was taking up to ten days for some people to get an appointment to be tested, several people told us today that wait time has now been reduced to less than two days but they still need their test results back as soon as possible.

Anyone wanting a test for the cornoavirus must first get an appointment to be tested.

Hillsborough County has set up a dedicated hotline for people to call to make appointments: 888-513-6321.


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