Apache Junction woman tests for coronavirus more than a week ago, still no results

APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- An Apache Junction woman says she was tested for coronavirus, but it’s been more than a week, and she still has no results. Jocelyn Saccuci says she started feeling sick on March 12.

“I would wake up with the chills and a lot of dry coughing spells in the middle of the night,” says Saccuci.

The 42-year-old doesn’t have any preexisting health issues but considered she may have been exposed to coronavirus because she works in a crowded building and does charity helping the homeless. She tested negative for the flu.

Saccuci says the following Tuesday, she went to Banner Health, where medical professionals collected swabs and sent them to Sonora Quest for coronavirus testing. She was told she would get results in three to five days. When that didn’t happen, Saccuci says she called Sonora Quest.

“They said that [the results] weren’t in, and they were waiting for the test results to come back from another lab,” says Saccuci. She says that’s when she learned her swabs were sent to California.

Sonora Quest confirms up until this week they were sending tests to their parent company in California. A spokeswoman said now that COVID-19 testing is happening at the Sonora Quest lab in Tempe, it takes less than two days to get results.

“Sonora Quest began processing COVID-19 samples earlier in the month, and initially specimens were sent to one of their parent companies in California, Quest Diagnostics, who performed the testing,” read a statement provided by a spokesperson. “Sonora Quest has made material investments to infrastructure and equipment and will perform testing locally on nasopharyngeal and throat swabs.”

“It’s pretty frustrating,” says Saccuci, who is remaining in self-quarantine until she knows it is safe to be around people. “Like seeing my daughter and stuff like that, I just can’t do."

Arizona’s Family asked what patients like Saccuci should do, but Sonora Quest offered no guidance and no explanation for the holdup.

As state health officials work to increase testing capacity in Arizona, they are encountering some challenges. On Wednesday, Director Cara Christ of the Arizona Health Services Department said a nationwide shortage in the items used to conduct coronavirus testing is slowing the pace of testing.

 

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