Delays at COVID-19 testing labs impacting San Antonio’s daily positive case count

Seven-day average will now be included in daily updates

Mayor Ron Nirenberg discusses a letter sent to Governor Greg Abott regarding the recent back and forth between state and local leaders on the reopening on schools.

SAN ANTONIO – A seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases will now be reported during the city and county’s daily briefing.

“We’re going to update that daily because we are at such high levels of infection and you’re seeing the case numbers daily jump so much up one day, down the next. And the reason for that is that the daily cases are not really a reflection of who’s getting sick in a 24-hour period,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

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The seven-day average announced on Wednesday was 768 positive cases.

On Tuesday, city officials reported 1,546 new cases but they cautioned those cases could be a week old. On Wednesday, 946 new cases were reported.

Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff pointed to issues with private and national labs, which are creating a lag in results.

“And all of this data from an individual case standpoint is coming back at different times, different time intervals. And so that’s what’s causing the volatility,” Nirenberg said.

On Monday, Quest Diagnostics, a national lab that processes COVID-19 tests, announced on its website that demand “remains high as the virus has spread across the United States.” The demand is stressing their testing capacity which in turn is delaying test results, according to the company’s statement on its website.

Coronavirus cases in Texas nursing homes more than doubled in July. Families say the state still isn’t testing enough.

Metro Health said people who get tested for the coronavirus at the city’s free testing sites are getting their results within two to three days.

There are a total of 50 testing locations across Bexar County. Each location has a contract with a specific lab to process the tests, which could be Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp or a private lab.

WATCH: Nirenberg discusses letter to the governor seeking clarification on reopening schools
Mayor Ron Nirenberg shares his frustration over the fight to require schools to only provide remote learning until at least after Labor Day.

About the Authors:

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Brina is the Executive Producer of the NightBeat and KSAT Explains. She has been with KSAT since 2015. She is a Houston native and proud to call San Antonio home.