CEO of COVID-19 testing company apologizes for delays, says they're working on backlog

The CEO of one of the major COVID-19 testing companies said the big delays in results are part of a perfect storm of omicron, their staff being out sick, and staffing shortages. 

Lab confirmed testing sites have been hit hard with the huge demand for tests resulting from the omicron variant. 

The CEO of GeneIQ said his company is working to quickly hire additional employees to keep up with the demand, but the delay in COVID-19 testing results is impacting North Texas families.

As the quarantine period for her 9-year-old son with COVID-19 ended, Sarah Rouse needed to test her whole family to make sure it was safe to visit family in Indiana. 

"It's been a number of years since we saw husband's grandparents. They are over 70, want to be careful," she said.

They used the drive-thru testing site.

"But as of January 6, we still don't have those results, and the test was done December 23," Rouse said. 

In the meantime, Rouse's husband searched six different pharmacies for at-home COVID tests, with no success.

The Rouse's then packed up and started driving. They finally found tests in Texarkana.

"Son was in fact positive, another positive for him, and my husband positive, turned around and came home," Rouse said.

It's news she wishes she had sooner.

"Not being able to make the decision with enough time to save us the drive and save us packing and the buildup," she added.

After experiencing a cough and congestion, Karin Hosenfeld went to a GeneIQ testing site at the McKinney ISD Stadium on December 30.

But it took five days to get the results, not the 48 hours advertised.

"Frustrating, personally, staying home without my son," she said. "Frustrated, I did not know what I had, and I think most would go out into the public."

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FILE - A medical worker extracts a specimen from a vial with a nasal swab COVID-19 test.

Frank Howard, CEO Of GeneIQ, said he can understand people's frustrations with the delayed results. 

"We did not anticipate the perfect storm," he said. "It's been a tidal wave, caught a lot of people off guard, had a sense of what was happening in South Africa and preparing for that, but to say we would have seen cases over 1 million, I would have never predicted that."

Howard said his company is hiring more employees as quickly as possible.

"I can assure you a lot of sleepless nights, had people who planned to be on PTO after the holiday put that aside and worked night and day to commitment to our community," he said.

Howard said his team is now working through the backlog to get results in 48-72 hours. 

"Sincerely want to apologize for that. Wish that was not the case. We’re doing all we can to get back to 48-hour turnaround time," he said.

FOX4 has not yet received a response from the team.

FEMA said that they are working to quickly get the six testing sites requested by the state up and running. Two of the sites will be in Dallas and Tarrant counties.

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