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Rapid COVID Testing Is in High Demand in Lafayette Causing a Shortage for Many Urgent Cares

A spike in coronavirus cases in Louisiana especially among young adults is reigniting concerns about whether coronavirus tests are sufficiently available especially here in Acadiana. 

News 15’s Cassie Schirm learned first hand just how hard it is to get a rapid test done in the area. 

She called multiple Urgent cares in the area and found out that some who do you have the tests are only testing those who are symptomatic and the others who are testing everyone has mostly run out. Luckily she got into one with a 7-hour wait to get tested. Luckily it came back negative but the search is a problem for many in Acadiana. 

According to the Department of Health, more than 660,000 tests have been performed across Louisiana. In the past three days, those tests are in high demand and hard to come by. 

“We’ve heard from a lot of these urgent care clinics that they’re just being bombarded,” said Dr. Tina Stefanski with the Louisiana Health Department. 

Dr. Stefanski says there are a few reasons we are seeing shortages. 

“It’s a mixed picture because we have a lot of close contacts and we are seeing an increase in testing as a result of that,” said Dr. Stefanski. “We also have people who I think are just curious to get tested.  Something else we’ve been hearing over the last couple of days is that employers are requiring employees to get tested and show that they have a negative test before coming to work. That’s not the recommendation unless they are close contact.”

She says for people who have been in close contact with someone needs to be tested and quarantine even if they test negative. 

“A negative test does not get you out of quarantine,” said Dr. Stefanski. “So even though you test negative you still need to remain home and isolate for 14 days, that’s a quarantine.” 

As of Thursday, June 25, 2020 according to the Louisiana Department of Health, Louisiana has 53,415 COVID-19 cases across the state and 3,051 deaths reported.
Cases- 53,415
Deaths- 3,051
Presumed Recovered-39,792 as of 6/21/2020

Here’s a break down of the numbers in the Acadiana area:
Acadia-  745     cases,35 deaths
Evangeline-146   cases, 1 deaths
Iberia-  570     cases,43  deaths
Jeff Davis- 283  cases,7  deaths
Lafayette- 1,723   cases,37  deaths
St. Landry- 540  cases, 57 deaths
St. Martin-606   cases, 26 deaths
St. Mary- 415    cases, 37 deaths
Vermilion- 185   cases,5 deaths
938 new cases reported in the state with 12 new deaths resulting from COVID-19.