Dillard University COVID-19 testing site runs out of tests minutes after opening

Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 9:11 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - For the second day, Dillard University’s coronavirus testing site ran out of tests within minutes of opening.

Officials say dozens of cars lined up on St. Anthony Street to Elysian Fields Avenue. But the site is a walk up and not a drive-thru site.

Just the people in line and with a ticket will get be allowed to get coronavirus testing.

It was a confusing morning as gates opened at 7:30 a.m. to let some vehicles park but the lot was filled up immediately and officials went out to tell those waiting in their vehicles to park somewhere else and walk up.

Dr. Jenniffer Avegno says they have plenty of swabs and test tubes but it’s other parts of the testing process that are being taxed. She says large machines located at area hospitals used as part of the testing process that are relied on widely in healthcare around the country need supplies and are struggling to keep up with demand.

Also, the tests require certain chemicals known as re-agents. Avegno says anyone who is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and haven’t been exposed to someone with the virus should wait about a week before seeking testing at one of the community sites.

“For the foreseeable future, we are going to cut the capacity. There are still clinics that have some capacity, again they’re facing the same issues. The federal standard for how much a community should test is about four to five percent of your population per month. In Orleans Parish that works out to a little over 500 tests a day. We’re currently doing 850 tests a day, so we’re still far above what the recommended standard is,” says Avegno.

Dillard University officials says they will reopen the site tomorrow at 7 a.m. and let them line up.

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