BOSTON — Patients who took self-swab COVID-19 tests at several CVS locations in Massachusetts put their lives on hold for results that never came.
Several people who were tested at CVS drive-thru sites told Boston 25 News they found themselves in a confusing holding pattern after the test.
Daniel Farrohi said he waited 15 days to get a definitive explanation from CVS after taking a self-swab test in Milford on Oct. 12.
“It was supposed to be two days. I kept calling, and they have no one you can speak to,” said Farrohi. “It’s been 15 days. Am I sick? Is it the cold or the flu or am I in this limbo for two weeks where I could have the virus .”
Farrohi said he finally heard from CVS on Oct. 27 telling him that his test could not be processed.
“It should be pretty cut and dry. If there’s an issue after five days and the majority of results are coming back in two or three days, you should let those people know,” said Farrohi.
A CVS spokesperson told Boston 25 News that one of the company’s independent lab partners experienced “an isolated issue processing a subset of samples for COVID-19 diagnostic tests”.
According to CVS, the issue was isolated to one lab for a subset of samples that “comprise a small fraction” of the company’s overall testing volume.
“This issue has impacted certain patients that performed a self-swab test at some of our CVS Pharmacy drive-thru COVID-19 test sites. We have reached out to impacted patients to let them know about this error and to help them to quickly reschedule a new test if needed. Our lab partner has committed to prioritizing these new tests in order to have results available to impacted patients as quickly as possible after taking a new test,” read a written statement from Mike DeAngelis, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for CVS.
“I feel like it’s a public health risk. That’s too long to wait,” said Kevin Lombardi, who said he waited 10 days to get an answer from CVS.
Kevin Lombardi told Boston 25 News he received the self-swab test on Oct. 11 at the CVS drive-thru in Whitman.
He said he didn’t hear that his test couldn’t be processed until Oct. 21 – 10 days later.
“My kids had to wait with me, and they missed a whole week of school because of it,” explained Lombardi. “If I had coronavirus and I got the result back and it said positive, I would have finished the whole quarantine by the time I got the result back.”
Both Lombardi and Farrohi said they decided to get tested elsewhere while waiting to hear from CVS. Both said they got their results back from those other places the following day.
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