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A first responder has waited a week for his COVID-19 test results. Now, a Knoxville lab wants to speed up the process

Integrity Laboratories said it has the supplies to test 10,000 specimens of the coronavirus.

First responder Matt Fagiana first felt it in the middle of the night. 

He thought it was just a bad cough that came out of nowhere, but when he developed a fever and shortness of breath--he decided to get tested. 

Doctors at Blount Memorial Hospital swabbed his nose for the coronavirus. 

"It's a little bit, it's an odd feeling because it goes about 5 inches up into your nasal cavity. So it's not pleasant but I knew it was necessary," Fagiana said. 

That was last Wednesday. 

He still hasn't heard the results. 

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"You're struggling with: I don't know yes or no, positive or negative. And you're doing it by yourself for the most part," he said. 

It's a lonely, frustrating wait that Christian Clevenger's Knoxville lab hopes to speed up. 

"We have extreme capacity obviously right now. Starting out of the gate we're entering in with 10,000 specimens in our facility," Clevenger said. "As demand ramps up, we're going to be looking at that 24-hour to 36-hour time period for results." 

This weekend technicians at his Integrity Laboratories near Cedar Bluff started processing tests conducted at local hospitals. 

The lab cannot swab patients but can process results from other doctors offices. Right now, it is prioritizing first responders like Matt Fagiana. 

"That's been the hardest part is sitting in the house not knowing do I have it, do I not have it," Fagiana said. 

He's feeling better now, just a cough left, as he still waits for results of whether he had COVID-19. 

"A lot of time with my dog, a lot of time with Netflix. I have probably the cleanest house in Knox County now," he said. 

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