ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix ER doctor outlines criteria for receiving coronavirus test

Mar 19, 2020, 4:55 AM | Updated: 9:41 am
(Twitter photo/Griselda Zetino)...
(Twitter photo/Griselda Zetino)
(Twitter photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — As the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase in Arizona, health care facilities and their staffs have to effectively prioritize their time, testing and treatment regarding the infectious disease.

Although many Valley residents want to be tested for COVID-19, not everyone qualifies.

Frank LoVecchio, an emergency room physician at Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that certain criteria must be met.

He explained that the most eligible to receive testing for coronavirus are those who are already very sick with something such as pneumonia, or an individual who already requires use of a respirator.

Patients who’ve traveled to a country where the coronavirus outbreak is happening and are showing flu-like symptoms are also eligible for testing.

“If none of those criteria are met, then we’re not allowed to give the test,” LoVecchio said.

“We have to ration the test; it’s not our choice. We’d love to give the test to everyone who wanted it.”

He said when there’s a patient who qualifies for the test, the hospital contacts the Arizona Department of Health Services to do the testing.

Patients who are tested are then placed in isolation at the hospital until test results come back.

“They don’t give us an answer until about 3 to 5 days, which is very, very difficult,” LoVecchio said.

“We have a few patients waiting for the answer, and they are very sick.”

The testing for coronavirus is led by the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory, which has a capacity to test up to 450 people each day.

Commercial testing has also started. Among the private hospitals and labs in Arizona providing testing are Mayo Clinic, TGen, and Sonora Quest Laboratories.

LoVecchio said if you’re feeling flu-like symptoms – like a cough or fever – and can’t get tested for the coronavirus, he recommends staying home and isolating yourself for 12 days.

“And I would tell others that if you have that, I think you should,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee speaks during the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on...
KTAR.com

Republican Arizona treasurer Kimberly Yee withdraws from governor’s race

Arizona treasurer Kimberly Yee announced Saturday she will be withdrawing from the Republican primary for governor.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

18-month-old girl in critical condition after drowning incident in Paradise Valley

An 18-month-old girl was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition after a drowning incident in Paradise Valley Saturday morning, authorities said. 
1 day ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police arrest wanted man involved in multistate manhunt

A man wanted for shooting a New Mexico police officer and fleeing a Colorado jail was arrested early Friday morning in Phoenix, police said.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Man arrested for allegedly shooting teen fast-food worker in Phoenix

A man was arrested Friday evening for allegedly shooting a 16-year-old fast-food restaurant worker in the head after an altercation in Phoenix on Thursday night, authorities said. 
1 day ago
FILE - Martin Luther King III speaks during a rally for voting rights, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, on ...
Associated Press

MLK III: History to remember Sinema unkindly over filibuster

PHOENIX (AP) — Martin Luther King III came to Arizona with harsh words for Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, whose refusal to change the Senate’s Jim Crow-era filibuster rules makes voting rights legislation unlikely to pass. King told a crowd campaigning to protect voting rights that Sinema cannot simultaneously express support for the legislation while also […]
1 day ago
(City of Glendale Photo)...
KTAR.com

New 4-acre lake at Heroes Regional Park in Glendale now open

Grab those fishing poles as the new lake at Heroes Regional Park in Glendale opened on Thursday, the city announced.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

HVAC upkeep in Arizona saves money, keeps families prepared in the long run

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Wide receivers John Brown #12 and Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona C...
Arizona Department of Gaming

The most memorable games in Arizona sports history every fan needs to know

Sports teams in Arizona have seen their fair share of instant classic games, but there's a few that every fan needs to know.
...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Phoenix ER doctor outlines criteria for receiving coronavirus test