Indiana health officials working to track down complaints of missing COVID-19 tests as expanded testing issues surface

Results from COVID-19 tests taken at an Indiana National Guard Armory in Danville have not been returned. (WTHR photo)
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DANVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) - COVID-19 test sites are growing across the state.

But right along with it, new concerns about missing test results and machines that might give false negatives.

13 Investigates shows you why some test-takers are frustrated and lacking peace of mind.

Indiana now has 180 sites for COVID-19 testing. Drive-thru clinics, medical facilities and armories like one in Danville, operated by OptumServe. The company won a $17.9 million contract to oversee testing at armories across the state.

Alan Stolz went for testing along with his daughter. Neither had symptoms of the virus, but both are in high-risk categories.

"It was the nasal test, tested on both sides of the nasal passages with a swab," Stolz told 13 Investigates. That test uses a regular-sized swab and according to the State Department of Health, one of the optional tests approved by the CDC.

OptumServe promised results within 72 hours. That was ten days ago, on Friday, May 8.

"As of right now, me and my daughter have not received anything back," said Stolz.

When they called OptumServe to inquire about their results, they were met with a major surprise.

"They don't know where the tests are," revealed Stolz. "Nobody is able to help us."

It's not the only system raising testing concerns in Indiana.

The FDA put out public guidance about Abbott's rapid results machines, saying a new study "suggest potential inaccurate results…specifically the test may return false negative results."

"It is disturbing to see reports out that the Abbott ID machine," said Dr. Kris Box, commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health. "If you are known to be positive by PCR Nasopharyngeal swab; you actually, on the Abbott machine 30 percent to 40 percent of the time, you might test negative."

Abbott tells 13 Investigates those "results are not consistent with other studies." Abbott released a more complete statement nationwide.

Abbott, the state and the FDA all recommend re-testing if there is a suspicion of a false negative.

As for the missing armory test results, 13 Investigates is hearing from other individuals tested in Danville who report they too have not received timely results.

13 Investigates contacted Indiana's Joint Task Force. That group is working to figure out what happened to the test results.

Stolz says OptumServe invited him back for a second test but he has refused.

"It's really frustrating, really frustrating, you know. You think you're helping yourself out, you think you're helping the state out by going to get tested," he said of the unsatisfactory experience.