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We have contacted Quest Diagnostics regarding delays in drug testing results and would like to pass along some important information for Drug Screening in 2022.

  • Negative results are returning within 24 hours after the collection.
  • Positive results are taking about 5-7 days.
  • Courier pick-up Fed Ex or Quest Diagnostics Couriers used to pick up specimens multiple times a day. Now it will be once per day, due to staff shortages.
    • (example: if the courier picks up specimens at noon, anything collected after that will not be picked up by the courier until the next day, weekends could be a definite challenge)
  • Quest Diagnostics (all areas) and collection sites are still experiencing staff shortages. They expect this to continue for the next 12 months.
  • There is a collection cup shortage. Some collection sites may not have collection cups, or they have low supplies. 
    • The supply issue is due to a global shortage of a Resin material the cups are made from, and staff shortages. The manufacturers cannot keep up with demand.
    • Repercussions of Hurricane Laura in 2020 and Winter Storm Uri in February 2021 hit the Resin/Plastic industry hard. Nearly 60% of manufacturers are reporting resin shortages.
    • In 2020 and 2021, some of the collection sites over-ordered cups, leaving minimal amounts or none for other sites.
    • Collections sites that have to order cups find that they are on back-order and can take a minimum of 35 days to receive. (If a donor goes to a site without cups, please send them to the next closest site in the area. We know this is an inconvenience, but we, unfortunately, have no control over this.)
  • COVID-19 is still rampant, and many collection sites do COVID-19 testing. This can limit staff time for other duties, such as specimen collections for pre-employment.
  • Fed Ex– Quest Diagnostics partners with Fed Ex to fly specimens to their Labs located in Lenexa, KS, or Norristown, PA. These are the only two laboratories Quest Diagnostics has in the USA.
    • Right now, about 95% of specimens are sent to the Lenexa, KS Lab and about 5% go to Norristown, PA. So no matter where the specimen is collected in the US, it will almost always be sent to Lenexa, KS.
    • Lenexa, KS Lab checks in 35,000 specimens per day! If there are delays, due to inclement weather, etc., the lab will have a backlog of work, with the same number of staff. Expect delays when this happens.
    • Any Weather delays that FedEx experiences, will impact Quest Diagnostics turn-around times.
  • Bad Weather – Fed Ex Operational Impacts
    • January 5, 2022 – The FedEx network has recently been impacted by severe weather at the Memphis hub and winter storms on the East and West coasts. Additionally, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 affects staffing, putting additional strain on operations. Quest Diagnostics is implementing contingency plans and adjusting processes to the best of its ability to continue providing the best possible service during these difficult times.
    • 80% of Quest Specimens go through the Memphis Hub.
  • Good News – In the 2nd Quarter (May/June) tentatively. 
    • Quest Diagnostics has started expanding their Norristown, PA Laboratory. They are in the process of building on to this lab so they can increase testing volumes and send the overflow of Lenexa’s specimens to this lab.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the above information. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and will work diligently with Quest Diagnostics to efficiently process our client’s requests during this difficult time.

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