Health departments working to cut down COVID-19 testing turnaround times

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INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers looking to get faster COVID-19 test results to return to work or school should see those wait times cut down in the coming weeks.

We spoke to health officials at both the Marion County and Hamilton County health departments, and they say they have plans in place to reduce long lines and get results back faster.

In Marion County, Doctor Caine says the average COVID-19 test result comes back in three to five business days but says she’s working with vendors to get that turnaround down to 48 hours by Labor Day.

In Hamilton County, the average wait time for a result is 24 to 48 hours but officials are hoping to cut down long lines by increasing their hours at the health department’s testing site. Officials in Hamilton County say keeping up with fluctuating testing demands has been difficult.

“It’s up to 6-8 people with the delta variant, so the demand really kind of jumped up and I think may have caught us a little unprepared in that regard,” said Christian Walker, Public Health Preparedness Coordinator for the Hamilton Co. Health Department.

There are a total of 36 testing sites in Hamilton County, the most there have ever been since the pandemic began. Hours at the Hamilton County Health Department are expected to expand in the coming weeks. Officials say they are just waiting for additional staff and volunteers to get trained.

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