COVID-19 test providers running into issues processing results due to case increase

As coronavirus cases continue to surge across Arizona, one of the largest facilities in the Valley is having to reduce testing capabilities.

On Monday after most people’s workdays ended, cars continued to roll into the COVID-19 testing site at Phoenix College, a site run by Emby Women’s Health, a major provider for testing in Arizona.

Recently, the site had to go to appointment only testing.

“We never want a situation that we experienced back in July to happen again. We don’t want to collect an infinite number of specimens unless we know that we have a lab to send them to," said CEO Raymond Embry.

LIST: Coronavirus testing locations in Arizona

They are currently trying to partner with multiple labs out of state so they can continue processing a large volume of tests.

LabCorp, in Arizona, can process 6,000 tests a day. A lab in Texas can handle another 10,000.

“We’re working on efficiencies up in Washington state that will give us an additional 10,000 tests per day, so once we have all those up we’ll have over 25,000 tests per day," Embry said.

The need for testing comes as Arizona sees most metrics, including case numbers, hospitalizations and positivity percentage, continue to go up.

“If we were just testing 25,000 patients per day and we had a .5 positivity rate, I’d have no concerns because we’d have low spread in our community. The fact that we are seeing an increasing positivity rate is concerning and something I do believe the community should take seriously," Embry said.

MAP: Arizona coronavirus cases by zip code