Arizonans express frustration trying to get a COVID-19 test or test results

The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) says the state has performed more than 566,000 COVID-19 tests, but unfortunately, it hasn't been easy for everyone to get tested.

Shana O'Mara has been trying to get tested since last week after learning a family member tested positive for the coronavirus. 

"We started the process on Thursday morning," O'Mara said, adding, "We’ve been calling Banner, working with CVS, which is an online system. We tried all of the urgent cares and for three days we have been able to get nothing."

RELATED: Where to get COVID-19 testing in the Phoenix area, with or without symptoms

On Facebook, FOX 10 viewers were asked how many were having trouble getting their hands on a test. Within minutes, stories poured in of people waiting hours in line or being turned away at clinics. 

Pharmacy websites are turning away anyone without symptoms, causing frustration and discouragement for people across the state as cases rise.

"One of the frustrating things for me is that the governor has said if you want to get tested, you can get tested and there are places that we’re finding that are still screening, still making you go through and show symptoms. We know that people are spreading this before symptoms show and without symptoms. We have this big problem in the state that’s not going to get fixed if we can’t get tested," O'Mara said.

RELATED: LIVE Blog: Coronavirus in Arizona - Latest case numbers

For Jennifer Parson of Tucson, she said she lied on the pharmacy questionnaire and still got denied. She's a surrogate mother and was 9 months pregnant when she came in direct contact with a receptionist who tested positive for COVID-19. She was given the run around just to get a test. 

Parson described her experience, saying, "Even when I got to the clinic they weren't doing walk-ins. You had to come during the times when they had the drive-ins unless you told them you were having surgery and I said, 'Hey, my doctor sent me here. I'm a possible C-section because the baby is breached,' and it was only up to that point that anyone wanted to test me. They were more than helpful but even when I went, there was a possibility that I wouldn't get tested."

Anne Zephir felt compelled to notify her job about her exposure after her son's daycare had a case.

"In order for me to go back, I have to get tested because my son was exposed to the virus at his daycare. So right now they had to put me on approved absence just because I don’t have a test and I can’t get one done," she explained.

Now, she feels as if she's paying the consequence of telling the truth.

"It is really frustrating especially when it’s jeopardizing my job, my salary, because at the same time even if I did have it, I wouldn’t know because I can’t get tested and I don’t have it, I can’t prove it because I can’t get tested," Zephir said.

Two people wanted to get tested after a friend tested positive for the virus. They figured it was the right thing to do to get tested. 

Like many others we asked on Facebook, they said finding a slot was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Syleste, one of the two who wanted to get tested, said, "But then we still have to wait at least a week until we get our test results. The issue that I see with that there are still some people that we have come in contact with, like parents, that maybe they could have contracted the virus from us but because we have to wait, they’re going to wait to possibly get tested. So then that would be another week before they even consider getting tested and then another week on top of that to know whether or not they are positive."

Gov. Ducey responds

"We have had a rise in Arizona, and I think a lot of people realize that we have had an increase in testing," said Gov. Doug Ducey, who also said testing for COVID-19 has gone up by 600%.

"We are going to continue, but we are also seeing an increase of positivity, which tells us that the virus continues to spread. We're seeing the majority of the cases happen in that age bracket of 20 to 44, so this is a real communication and education challenge," said Gov. Ducey.

The governor also says officials always thought the peak in illnesses and hospitalizations would be in June, July and August.

"We knew that when we lifted the stay-at-home order, we would have an increase in cases. The objective has always been so that we can slow the spread of the virus. Virus is not going away any time soon," said Gov. Ducey.

Continuing COVID-19 Coverage

 https://www.fox10phoenix.com/shows/coronavirus-in-arizona