Northern Arizona Healthcare to collect COVID-19 specimens in Cottonwood beginning Thursday
VERDE VALLEY — Beginning Thursday, Northern Arizona Healthcare will collect specimens that will be tested for COVID-19.
Northern Arizona’s collection site at Verde Valley Medical Center will be open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and subject to opening or closing based on the availability of supplies to collect the samples, according to a news release Wednesday by Northern Arizona Healthcare.
Plans for setting up a collection site at VVMC “have been underway since last week, pending the availability of enough supplies to operate it,” according to the release. “Recent shipments make it possible for the site to open. Continued operation depends upon supplies being available.”
Patients will need a written order from a physician or provider for a sample to be collected.
“They can receive this by calling their primary care provider’s office,” according to the statement from Northern Arizona Healthcare. “Only those with symptoms consistent with the screening criteria will have a sample collected.”
Symptoms for COVID-19 – also known as the coronavirus – include cough, fever, tiredness and difficulty breathing.
People may be sick with the virus for as many as 14 days before developing symptoms, according to the March 25 update by Yavapai County Community Health Services. “If you start developing symptoms, please stay home and call your healthcare provider for screening and possible testing.”
Although there are a limited amount of kits to collect samples, Northern Arizona Healthcare is “making sure to keep a supply for the critically ill who may need hospitalization, before we collect samples from those with less serious symptoms,” said Ron Haase, Northern Arizona Healthcare chief administrative officer for the Verde Valley.
Once Northern Arizona Healthcare has been notified of the results from the testing facility, patients will be notified, the news release stated.
Any questions, call the COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-708-0894.
Limited supply of COVID-19 test kits
Yavapai County Community Health Services said Tuesday on its website that COVID-19 testing in the United States isn’t able to keep up with the demand.
With what she called a limited supply of test kits, Copper Canyon Family Health in Camp Verde has collected specimens from five of its patients since March 16, according to Jennifer Hinds, practice manager.
“I think it’s a problem in Yavapai County,” Hinds said of the quantity of test kits. “I wish we had an abundance of tests, that we could test everybody. But we don’t.”
Doctors at Copper Canyon know the COVID-19 symptoms, Hinds said. “Unfortunately, all the symptoms are similar to the flu.”
Over the past few weeks, Copper Canyon physicians “haven’t seen a lot of sick people,” Hinds said.
Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, or diabetes “may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19,” according to Yavapai County Community Health Services.
Visit azdhs.gov or nahealth.com for more information.
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