As coronavirus continues to spread, many are wondering why haven't more people been tested

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many FOX 10 viewers have asked the same question: why haven't more people been tested.

On Thursday, FOX 10 asked Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, that very question.

"There are now several commercial laboratories that can test for COVID-19," said Dr. Christ. "However, as you've heard, there is a national shortage of test collection supplies and lab reagents. There are not enough tests for everyone who wants to be tested at this time."

Dr. Christ, however, says many things are changing around the state.

"We know that many healthcare and laboratory partners are in the beginning stages of implementing screening locations, once the supplies become available. We are working with our sites and our Federal [Health and Human Services] partners to continue setting up additional screening locations throughout the state."

Dr. Christ is also clearing up other important information about the virus.

"It's important to know because there is no specific treatment for the disease, the results of a COVID-19 test will not change the results of your clinical treatment," said Dr. Christ. "While you are sick, doctors will still care for you the same way."

Dr. Christ also reiterated that if people do need to see a doctor to make sure to call first. Also, people should avoid the hospital, unless it's a true emergency.

Continuing Coverage

FOX 10 is working to keep you up to date with local and national developments on COVID-19. Every weekday on FOX News Now, our live coverage begins at 7 a.m. MST reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.

You can watch live in your FOX 10 News app or on the FOX 10 Facebook page.

Get the latest coronavirus news by downloading the FOX 10 News App. Our promise is that our alerts are there to inform you - not scare you.

On CoronavirusNOW.com, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

Additional resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars

https://www.azdhs.gov/coronavirus

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