'Don't assume you're negative'; Overwhelmed COVID testing centers urge patience

NOW: ’Don’t assume you’re negative’; Overwhelmed COVID testing centers urge patience

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The City of Milwaukee Health Department says this week, Milwaukee has experienced both the highest number of tests and the highest test positivity rates throughout the pandemic to date. 

Many people are still waiting for their test results. CBS 58 spoke with, Dr. Hashim Zaibak, the owner of Hayat Pharmacy, who says his staff is working around the clock. 

"We're testing about 1,000 to 1,500 people a day. We scaled up significantly on the number of people working and the number of hours we're open. We are doing the best we can to provide this service for the community," said Zaibak. 

A community filled with frustrated folks like Nicole Hanson. She has been waiting for her test results from Hayat since Monday. 

"Around 9 p.m. I had a reservation and I waited in line for over two hours. So about 11 p.m. I got the test done," said Hanson. 

Hanson called to find out her result on Thursday but says when she called, she was told the lab was overwhelmed. 

"They said they are over 3,000 tests behind with the lab and they have no results. They said I could come there for a rapid test and they could charge me for a cost of 50% off. 

Discounts, Dr. Zaibak says, are available to those in panic mode. He says it's been a hectic week as staff at the lab they use to process results are also facing a labor shortage. 

"Like the rest of us, many of them can get COVID. So, they have had some COVID cases and that is delaying the whole process, making patients frustrated. 

On Friday, the City of Milwaukee Health Department released information stating that the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests increased to 38.5%. Doctors say although it can be frustrating to wait for test results, it's the right thing to do. 

"Don't assume you're negative or don't be frustrated and say it's not my fault, I'm just going back to my normal life, because you could be that superspreader," explained Zaibak. 

At-home tests are available for purchase at Hayat Pharmacy

Mobile Vaccination Clinic Schedule Jan. 10-12, 2022

  • Monday, Jan. 10
    • La Causa
    • 1643 S. 2nd St.
    • 2-5 p.m. 

  • Wednesday, Jan. 12
    • Ascension All Saints Family Health Center
    • 2400 W. Villard Ave.
    • 1-4 p.m.
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