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Arizona COVID-19 test turnaround time drastically decreases, tests widely available

Arizona COVID-19 test turnaround time drastically decreases, tests widely available
Posted at 9:30 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 00:30:26-04

More than a million COVID-19 tests have been collected in the state, and new data shows the result turnaround time has significantly decreased.

FULL SECTION: Everything you need to know about coronavirus

Charts with data compiled by ABC15's Data Guru Garrett Archer show the difference in turnaround times between August 10 and July 26.

The chart from August 10 shows that nearly all tests reported show up within three days.

TestingAug10.png

The July 26 chart shows up to a 16 or 17-day lag time.

TestingJuly26.png

Right now, most test results are coming back in less than three days, and one major reason for that is that Sonora Quest--one of the state's largest labs--has added new equipment to expand testing capacity and process tests faster. The lab has three new testing lines and is now reporting a turnaround time of 2-3 days. In July, the lab had more than 60,000 tests in its backlog and many people were waiting more than two weeks to get test results back.

Last week, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said Sonora Quest Laboratories violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by lying to patients about COVID-19 test result turnaround times. In a letter to Sonora Quest, the AG's office demanded that the lab stop claims that it was processing tests in 24 to 72 hours when processing has taken upwards of nine days.

Monday, a spokesperson for Sonora Quest gave ABC15 this statement in response: "We categorically deny the allegation that Sonora Quest violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act and will provide a complete response to the Attorney General’s Office. Sonora Quest is not making further comment on the letter at this time, but we affirm that Sonora Quest has provided and will continue to provide accurate and timely information about its turnaround times."

Right now, Arizona has more testing capacity than it has supply. Arizona State University's saliva tests are now more widely available as well. The university teamed up with ADHS to provide more locations and hours for testing. Those test results come back within 24 - 48 hours.

ASU's saliva tests are by appointment only, and each person needs to register online by creating an account and entering an agency code. New testing events will be added each week.

Learn more about ASU's saliva tests and register here.

Here are the upcoming events:

  • Tuesday August 11, 2020
    • State Farm Stadium - 1 Cardinals Dr., Glendale, AZ 85305
    • 6:30 AM – 10:30 AM
    • Agency code: PM1jKpGr8
    • Pre-Register
  • Wednesday August 12, 2020
    • Ellie Towne Community Center - 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, Tucson 85705
    • 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Agency code: PM1jKpGr8
    • Pre-Register
  • Wednesday August 12, 2020
    • Tempe Diablo Stadium - 2200 W Alameda Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282
    • 6:30AM – 9:30AM
    • Agency code: PM1jKpGr8
    • Pre-Register
  • Friday August 14, 2020
    • Ellie Towne Community Center – 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, Tucson 85705
    • 7:00AM – 12:00PM
    • Agency code: PM1jKpGr8
    • Pre-Register
  • Friday August 14, 2020
    • Tempe Diablo Stadium - 2200 W Alameda Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282
    • 6:30AM – 9:30AM
    • Agency code: PM1jKpGr8
    • Pre-Register