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COVID-19 testing in Southern Arizona, mainly by appointment

COVID-19 cases worldwide surpasses 9 million
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 21:18:30-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — There are dozens of testing centers in Southern Arizona, even locally-owned clinics are performing the tests, but some are seeing faster results than others.

Most testing sites are offering the test by appointment only.

Amy, a patient at Rescue Me Wellness, got her second COVID-19 test at a local clinic Monday.

"It tickles more than anything else. It’s something up your nose,“ she said.

She came into Rescue Me Wellness, a privately owned local clinic, to get tested after her employer asked her to.

“We feel it's better to get tested by somebody who has some knowledge of the nasal anatomy. You do have to be able to get an adequate DNA sample,“ said Lisa Ritter PA.

Ritter said on hand she has 500 nasal swabs and anyone who wants anti-body testing can schedule an appointment.

“We’re seeing the antibody test, which is a blood draw, come in within 24 hours. We’re getting those locally from a lab here in Tucson," explained Ritter.

Her clinic is seeing the nasal swab tests come back within about 36 hours.

Although Ritter and her team have done over a thousand tests, they aren’t the only health care clinic open, El Rio Health is still offering testing.

“It has been a challenge for testing and that's really why we want to be here for the community," said Dr. Rajiv Modak.

Dr. Modak said El Rio can do up to 300 tests per day between their two sites, but results for them have been that challenge because the lab they are sending their tests to is seeing increased demand.

To date, they have done 11,465 tests.

Related: Coronavirus: Latest updates, cases in Arizona

“With the increased demand and testing, it's clear that the labs are working as hard as they can to process all the tests, but because of that there has been a delay the tests can take anywhere from five days to sometimes up to 10 days to come back to heading on the demand on the lab," Dr. Modak added.

El Rio added that at first their positives were in the single digits, but as the pandemic has progressed that trend didn't stick.

“In the last couple of weeks, we're seeing closer to about 20% positives for the tests that we do,” said Dr. Modak.

Both clinics run patient's insurance, but for those uninsured Rescue Me Wellness will charge you to see a provider based on their wholesale pricing. The clinic also takes Health Care Savings cards.

El Rio said without insurance the test is free.

Other testing sites in the Tucson-area can be found here.