The Arizona Department of Health Services has expanded the list of those eligible for coronavirus tests, but, so far, there aren't any more available.

The diagnostic testing, which identifies people actively infected with COVID-19, has been in short supply. Tests had been reserved for those showing symptoms or considered vulnerable.

 On Thursday, Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ changed the state's standing order for COVID-19 testing to include "anyone who thinks they have been exposed to and could be infected with COVID-19."

The testing would require a person to sign a voluntary isolation agreement.

But that doesn't change anything locally. Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital CEO Kelly Adams said Friday that testing at Santa Cruz Valley Physicians Group is by appointment only and for those with symptoms.

Adams said he thinks the state is preparing to roll out more diagnostic testing but the hospital hasn't received more kits.

He said there aren't any definitive answers on when more diagnostic testing kits would be available, but expects answers as the state prepares to open up elective surgeries again May 1.

The ADHS didn't return requests for information on why the standard changed before more test kits were available.

Antibody testing

In a Wednesday press conference, Gov. Doug Ducey said 1,000 to 3,000 serology tests per day would be available.  Serology tests, commonly referred to as antibody tests, show if a person has contracted COVID and has since recovered.

Sonora Quest spokeswoman Jessica Pridonoff said the company started offering the antibody tests Friday and should be able to maintain the 1,000 to 3,000 tests per day. The tests do not indicate whether you currently have the virus and should not be mistaken for a diagnostic test.

Sonora Quest's lab in Green Valley is among its 20 locations around the state with antibody testing. The site is offering it Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The antibody tests are available by appointment only, require a doctor's order and are not for people who think they have COVID-19 symptoms.

"Right now, you need a provider order to get the antibody testing," Pridonoff said. "And you can visit any one of the 20 different Sonora Quest service centers to do so. The only real requirements are you have to have a doctor order, and you need to be free of symptoms for 10 days and not presently having a fever."

She said the doctor's order requirement would likely go away in the first half of May. After that, the public could order an antibody test on Sonora Quest's website and have their blood drawn at a lab or physician's office.

Pridonoff said while the public would be able to order the tests themselves, she hoped they would use their best judgment in deciding whether they need one. The public should take the antibody test if they genuinely believe they recovered from COVID-19 symptoms.

Pridonoff said the test would be available direct to consumers once the doctor's requirement is lifted and wouldn't require insurance. She didn't yet have pricing for the test. She said it takes about one to four days from the time a sample is taken to receive a result.

Jorge Encinas | 520-547-9732