Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – If there was one thing harder than finding candy canes this year, it was getting a COVID test done quickly.

Between family gatherings, the new variant and breakthrough cases, it’s a perfect storm to disrupt that long holiday trip home.

But Roxby Labs is fighting back against the short supply, in a place that has a long history of helping Wheeling through its medical predicaments.

Free drive-thru testing is back at the OVMC site, with turnaround times that are a fraction of what we saw when the winter surge hit last year.

I mean people were waiting five to seven days for their test results. And I wanted to provide a better service to our local residents.

Dr. Natasha Smith, Chief Scientific Officer, Roxby Labs

Roxby began in the Friendly City shortly after the pandemic began nearly two years ago.

You may remember they started a decontamination process to reuse N95 masks for health care workers last year.

And they didn’t stop there—Since then they have opened their own CLIA-certified lab right here in the Northern Panhandle.

They say it isn’t just the wait for results that’s improved—it’s also the comfort of the process itself.

It is not the deep, tickle-your-brain ones like before.

Dr. Natasha Smith, Chief Scientific Officer, Roxby Labs

Here’s how it will go if you haven’t had a test before.

When you pull up in the OVMC parking lot, you’ll be asked to fill out a form with some basic information and show an ID.

Then once it’s your turn, the nasal swab will be taken inside where it’s all processed in-house.

And then our lab techs bring it in here, start processing this test, and then as soon as they verify those results, you’ll get those results.

Dr. Natasha Smith, Chief Scientific Officer, Roxby Labs

The best part is that you most likely won’t wait more than a day or two, even though it isn’t a rapid test.

That doesn’t just mean you can hit the road for that family gathering sooner—it means a faster reaction to community spread.

I think turnaround times should be 24 to 48 hours, because people shouldn’t have to wait and possibly spread the virus. The faster you get results to people, the better you can control an outbreak.

Dr. Natasha Smith, Chief Scientific Officer, Roxby Labs

They’ve teamed up with the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department for this effort, but Roxby has another partner to start 2022.

Moundsville Pharmacy is helping them make sure employers can get testing for the emergency OSHA requirement next month.

As we enter yet another phase of coronavirus, they’re ready to show the Ohio Valley that it isn’t March of 2020 anymore—and health professionals have more swabs in their toolkit than ever before to slow the spread.

They will also have a special back-to-work testing site January 2nd from 9 to 12 p.m., and say they’ll be working hard to get results back before that Monday.

They have another testing site coming up this Thursday from 9 to 12 at Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino, in partnership with Hancock County’s Health Department and school district.