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More COVID-19 tests will be available starting this week

Posted at 10:44 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 01:45:40-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — "We have more tests than we had in the previous weeks, and that capacity is growing over time," Dr. William Lainhart said.

Dr. Lainhart studies infectious diseases at Sonora Quest Labs, he said they've had coronavirus tests ready to go since Wednesday.

He said it's in the process of being approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

"Part of that process is once you begin testing you submit that test to the FDA for the review."

Where can you get tested?

Not at their labs, doctors at Sonora Quest said not to line up outside of their building.

They say the tests are available to their clients, including Banner Health.

"The turnaround for this testing is three to five days," Lainhard said.

The Director of the Pima County Health Department, Dr. Bob England, said the turnaround time could go up with more demand for tests.

"The testing has been in such short supply that we don't really know the full spectrum of disease," England said.

That's kept health officials from knowing just how many people might actually have the virus, accorrding to England.

"I'd like a much better idea of how much mild illness there is out there," England said.

"The more you test, the more of that you're going to find and the lower the actual death rate is going to be from this thing."