Here’s What You Need To Know When Paying Big Bucks To Get Faster COVID-19 Test Results – CBS New York

Here's What You Need To Know When Paying Big Bucks To Get Faster COVID-19 Test Results - CBS New York

READ MORE: Getting Boosters At Nursing Homes Faces Obstacles Of Vaccine Hesitancy, Family Consent

But as CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported Monday, some are learning not even money can make that happen.

Highlights

  • FIND TESTING SITES: Click here for New York City’s testing site locator, including mobile sites and at-home appointments

  • The door at ClearMD’s Upper West Side location warns consumers the 48-hour PCR test will take 48 hours from the time it reaches the lab, not from the time you get swabbed.

When West Village resident John Bowen was catching a flight last week to the United Kingdom, he paid the $150 and got swabbed Sunday morning. But on Monday, before his 10 p.m. flight, he still had nothing.

Inside, a menu gives the option to pay $150 to get the results by 8 p.m. the next day, or almost $400 for a two-hour turnaround.

“I’m waiting there at the check-in place in a panic. I kept calling that number. Oh, I texted them, and what I got back was a general text,” Bowen said. “Never got a phone call back. I emailed them.”

COVID VACCINE

Susan Parker of Ardsley up in Westchester County drove in with her two sons for the 24-hour test. She said she also couldn’t get a hold of anyone when the results were not back yet. They missed Monday’s flight. “It took more than two days. They don’t answer the phone. They don’t respond to emails. They don’t respond to tweets, Facebook message, so I drove back into the city to try to find someone to talk to,” Parker said. “I just want transparency and honesty. Just tell me it’s not going to be 24 hours.”

After Rozner spoke with the medical director, he called both customers to provide a full refund, which the company promises for late results, and told CBS2, “Half my staff is out with COVID. Generally, we get our results out on our time, 98-99% of the time, but it’s difficult when you are short-staffed and we have an increase in the positivity rate.” He added before the Omicron variant arrived the company saw 1,000 patients a day and now that number has tripled.

READ MORE: New Testing Sites, Vaccine Mandates Highlight New York City’s Efforts To Fight Spread Of Omicron Variant The company uses a Queens lab, which is also allegedly short-staffed, but he said even the clock on the 24-hour promise only starts when the specimen reaches the lab.

Evan Willner of the Upper East Side paid $25 for a 36-hour test, after experiencing some symptoms last week, but said he has still not received the results. “I had to isolate. My family had to isolate. We couldn’t really go to work. We couldn’t see other family because we didn’t know if we were going to test positive. We didn’t know if we were infectious,” Willner said.

The New York attorney general has sent several warnings to companies about providing accurate turnaround times, including Sameday Health. AVOID THE LINES: Click here for NYC Health+Hospitals testing wait times