By Paul Gessler

ABERDEEN (WJZ) — Hundreds of saliva samples collected at Ripken Stadium Jan. 10 expired by the time they got to a lab in Texas.

The saliva samples collected on Jan. 10 were redirected from the primary lab in New Jersey after a COVID-19 outbreak led to staff shortages.

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Those samples were then sent to a backup lab in Texas, according to a representative from Omnipoynt Solutions, the vendor at the Ripken Stadium location.

“Because of the differences in protocols between the two laboratories, those saliva samples didn’t arrive to the laboratory to be processed,” Aaron Poynton from Omnipoynt Solutions told WJZ on Monday. “Unfortunately, the PCR results couldn’t be processed.”

Poynton said 471 samples were affected, resulting in no PCR results. But everyone who tested last week received a rapid antigen test and received those results within 10 minutes.

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Those people who took COVID-19 tests on Jan. 10 and did not receive PCR results can return to Ripken Stadium this week and get tested in an “express lane.”

“The entire country coming back from the holiday was really just inundated with significant testing increase,” Poynton said. “Many of the labs are backlog. It’s sort of an unforeseen situation as the entire country struggles with this recent surge.”

Omnipoynt Solutions’ lab is on a backlog, too, and its technicians are working double shifts, Poynton said.

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The Ripken Stadium testing site reopens from the holiday weekend on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m.

Paul Gessler