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‘Nerve-racking’: Virus testing backlog has El Pasoans waiting 10 days or more for results

EL PASO, Texas -- The City of El Paso has set up more than a dozen Covid-19 testing sites throughout the community, and while it could take as little as 10 minutes to get your test taken - it may also take more than 10 days to get you the results.

“One of the issues is that we’ve been doing so much testing in the last
several weeks that the private labs are backed up,” said Mayor Dee Margo, who noted that the calls have been coming in to the city from people concerned with testing results being delayed.

“When you make a appointment, they are telling you that it’s 72 hours
to get the results,” said an ABC-7 viewer who was tested on May 18 after experiencing a bad cough. “It’s already the 28th and I have yet to receive a phone call or a text” with the results.

The viewer said the wait and uncertainty brings anxiety with it.

“I'm not sleeping, I haven’t seen my family for almost a month," said the viewer, who requested anonymity. "It’s kind of nerve racking that I can’t see anybody and not knowing is even worse.”

The city's website showed as of Thursday that 32,500 people had been tested to date, but 845 tests currently were listed as having results pending from labs.

As ABC-7 has reported, UTEP is offering its laboratories to help speed up the process and officials hope to soon be turning around test results in a 24-hour time period.

El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzales said UTEP should be up and running to process tests by the end of the month, and the mayor added that the university should be able to handle test kits from up to 500 people during an eight-hour shift.

Article Topic Follows: Health

Jerry Najera

Jerry Najera is an ABC-7 reporter/photographer.

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