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Yuma County Coronavirus

Local clinics deal with temporary coronavirus rapid test shortage

RCBH unsure when it will get more kits - News 11's Crystal Jimenez reports

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Rapid tests for coronavirus are currently in short supply, and the Regional Center for Border Health (RCBH) says it's unclear when it will be able to restock.

RCBH Director Amanda Aguirre said the clinics' distributor told her the entire nation is seeing a shortage of the tests, which produce results in around 15-minutes.

Aguirre said RCBH currently has only 1,000 kits, which the clinics reserve for frontline workers and first responders. She said the center normally takes delivery of 2,000 tests a week, and clinic workers typically use all of them. Now Aguirre can't say when distributors can replenish their supply.

Clinics aren't the only ones struggling with the shortage of rapid tests. Schools, and nursing homes also rely on quick results.

Aguirre said, in the meantime, RCBH will go back to using PCR tests which they have plenty of. It usually takes 48-hours to get results back. Although, at the height of the pandemic, many people waited as long as two-weeks. She says her clinics are working with three different labs to get results back as quickly as possible.

She also said RCBH is seeing an increasing demand for tests of either type. She says her clinics test as many as 500 patients a day.

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez began at KYMA as a Digital Content Producer in June 2019, and is now a multimedia journalist for the morning show.

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