Jul 14, 2020 - Health

Quest reports longer waits for coronavirus tests results

The Quest Diagnostics headquarters building.

Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Quest Diagnostics said its average turnaround time for a COVID-19 test is now at "seven or more days," up from four to five days at the end of June. Its testing backlog is getting worse because of the high demand in parts of the country where infection is spreading.

Why it matters: Long backlogs make testing less useful — public health officials need to know what their local situation is like now, not what it was like a week ago. Delays are especially problematic if people who are infected continue to go about their lives while they wait for their results.

Between the lines: Quest told investors Monday that its second-quarter revenue will be down 6%, hovering around $1.83 billion, as coronavirus testing has supplanted other, more lucrative tests that had to be put off.

  • But Quest still expects to register a profit of at least $1.33 per share thanks to $65 million of government bailout funds and high volumes of COVID-19 tests.
Go deeper