FARGO — The number of Sanford Health patients still waiting anxiously to learn the results of their coronavirus tests from specimens sent to a laboratory in California has dwindled to a handful.
As of Wednesday, April 1, seven patients still were waiting to learn their test results — a number that was down from 54 earlier in the day.
Last month, as the number of patients seeking testing was growing rapidly, Sanford sent swab specimens from 344 patients to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory in California.
The results from the private lab have been slow to come back given the heavy volume of testing. Sanford, which now does its own testing with results available within 24 to 48 hours, has offered to retest those still waiting for results.
Meanwhile, Sanford stays in regular contact with those waiting for their test results, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Doug Griffin, Sanford’s chief medical officer in Fargo, said in a statement issued Wednesday, April 1.
Sanford is monitoring and advising the patients, Griffin said. “This includes self-isolating and monitoring symptoms depending on the situation of each person,” he said. “Sanford has stayed in touch with those awaiting results to monitor them and answer questions.”
Sanford now sends its coronavirus specimens to its lab in Sioux Falls, S.D.
“We are able to process 400 tests per day, with plans to double that capacity in the coming weeks,” Griffin said.
When asked Wednesday whether Sanford still expected to receive more late results from the private lab, Sanford referred questions to Quest Diagnostics, which was not immediately reachable.
On its website, Quest said it has increased its capacity to now process 30,000 coronavirus specimens daily at its labs around the country. Results typically are available in four or five days, with some taking seven days.