NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – It’s five days and counting for Paul Elliot.
The Bellevue father got his Coronavirus test five days ago, and still hasn’t gotten the results. It’s why he’s having his daughters stay with other family.
“That’s why I’m in a holding pattern. It’s frustrating,” Elliot said.
Michael Cartwright understands Elliot’s frustrations, and even has a lab in Brentwood that could process 2,400 Coronavirus tests a day.
But right now, they aren’t able to.
“We absolutely have to get on this testing. But we need real leadership,” Cartwright said.
Cartwright is the CEO of Addiction Labs of America, that primarily runs test results for behavioral health patients.
But after seeing the coronavirus spread, he realized he had the machines that could run the tests, but lacked necessary supplies like more DNA extractors and certainly chemicals.
Those supplies would take a least a month to get, and he can get no one in local government to prioritize working with smaller labs and expedite them getting the supplies they need.
“To know we have everything right here, and know we are just missing these supplies, is very frustrating. Makes us want to sound the alarm,” said Joy Sutton, communications director for american addiction lab.
Cartwright said he has spoken to other smaller labs around the country who are pleading with local and federal government to let them be part of the fight.
We asked the commissioner of the state department of health about the plea from smaller labs: “Why hasn’t TN’s government worked with more local labs, gotten them contracts, to get them the supplies to run these tests?” asked News4 investigates.
“We are working with multiple companies across Tn to help build capacity even in small numbers because every little but helps,” said commissioner dr Lisa piercy.
News4 investigates has put in a request to identify how many smaller labs the state is in discussion with now.
Piercy said they are working with two major labs that are running tests nationwide, and private labs Are also running tests but are not contracted with the state.
It is unclear how many private labs are running tests and for which health care providers. All Elliot knows is that five days is too long to wait for test results.
“Right now we’re talking this one size fits all approach and it’s not sustainable,” Elliot said.