DeKalb County Schools says supply chain issues, demand to blame for slow COVID test resultsTracy Mau, RN takes a specimen at the DeKalb County Board of Health COVID-19 testing site located in the parking lot of The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church in Atlanta, July 21, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
DeKalb County, GA — As DeKalb County Schools resumes in-person learning today, Jan. 10, some teachers are reporting they’re still awaiting their COVID-19 test results.
Maureen Downey, education reporter and columnist with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, noted on the AJC Get Schooled Facebook page, wrote, “I have been hearing a lot this weekend about the lack of results from COVID-19 tests done early last week by the DeKalb County School District.”
Decaturish has received similar reports. A statement from the Coalition for a Safe DCSD Return advocacy group about the district’s plans to return to in-person learning said that, “many DCSD teachers are reaching out stating that they don’t have working HVAC, air purifiers in their rooms, extra masks, their covid test results from 5 days ago, hand soap, and sanitizing wipes.”
DeKalb County Schools acknowledged the problems and said they were due to demand and supply chain issues.
“PCR tests must be processed by laboratories and usually take 24-48 hours for results,” a spokesperson for the district said. “Due to the unprecedented increase in demand for testing, along with the general holiday supply chain strain, COVID-19 lab reports are returning much later than anticipated.”
Here’s the full statement from DeKalb County Schools regarding the delayed test results:
DeKalb County School District (DCSD) collaborated with Our Community HealthCare System (OCHS) to offer PCR COVID-19 testing for staff last week. PCR tests must be processed by laboratories and usually take 24-48 hours for results. Due to the unprecedented increase in demand for testing, along with the general holiday supply chain strain, COVID-19 lab reports are returning much later than anticipated. OCHS had a medical doctor and nurses on-site at our facility to provide medical consultation, PCR testing, and rapid testing to any staff who reportedly was not feeling well.
OCHS worked with the labs to identify staff with positive results first and made personal phone calls to them to provide results. OCHS provided staff, who took the PCR test, an opportunity to take a rapid test at one of their other locations if needed. All staff who took advantage of PCR testing at our facility have been notified of their results. OCHS will provide rapid testing at the district’s office this week.
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