EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Some El Pasoans are waiting hours to get tested for COVID-19.
On Wednesday, hundreds of cars could be seen lined up on Joe Battle Boulevard, as people waited to be tested at the Socorro Athletic Complex COVID-19 test site.
The El Paso City/County Health Authority said more people are showing symptoms and then getting tested, which is why El Paso is seeing higher positivity rates from those tests.
“Right now I just want a COVID test because it’s getting crazier by the day,” said El Pasoan Luis Cortez, who waited in line Wednesday to get tested.
Cortez said he waited in line for more than two hours to get tested, adding that he’s doing it out of an abundance of caution.
“I feel like a lot of people are doing that, especially with it getting crazier. Everyone wants to make sure that their family is OK when they get home,” he said.
Others that were waiting in line said they are getting tested because they are showing symptoms.
“I’ve been feeling kind of sick and also I was exposed to a co-worker at work,” said El Pasoan Robert Valladarez, who was also waiting in line to be tested.
The El Paso City/County Health Authority said that more El Pasoans are showing symptoms.
“Were finding a lot more people that are positive and we have seen also that the number of asymptomatic individuals that come and get tested continues to decline, meaning that there are a lot more people who have symptoms who come and get tested; they’ve been in contact with somebody and they start developing symptoms,” said El Paso City/County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza.
He added that if you test positive, you will receive a phone call from the Health Authority. If you do not answer, a police officer along with someone from the health department will deliver a Health Authority order to your home to make sure you comply.
“We need to deliver those and those are legally binding because we need to control the spread of the disease and the only way we can do it is by enforcing the isolation and quarantine orders that we need to give to those individuals who are positive,” said Ocaranza.
Ocaranza said to avoid the long wait times at testing sites — and to help people quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if one is infected — it’s best to find a site where you can make an appointment.
For a list of COVID-19 test sites, visit epstrong.org/testing.php.
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