Mayor Adler: People without COVID-19 symptoms can’t be tested any more due to shortage of tests in Austin

Mayor Adler at Austin rally 6-7-20

Austin Mayor Steve Adler attended the Austin Black Voices rally in downtown Austin Sunday, June 7, 2020 (Todd Bailey/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — People that do not have COVID-19 symptoms can no longer get tested for the virus in Austin due to a shortage of tests, according to Mayor Adler.

In his “Got A Minute” Facebook update released Friday evening, the mayor said that the demand for COVID-19 tests in Austin is far greater than the supply.

He acknowledged that the City of Austin previously told “everybody” to get tested, but said the position has had to change due to a lack of tests.

“Dr (Mark) Escott is now saying that not everybody can get tested,” Mayor Adler said.

“We are going to go back to only testing people who are symptomatic because we frankly don’t have enough testing capability.”

He also said that problems have emerged due to the length of time people need to wait before receiving their test results.

“The tests are not coming back quickly enough,” he said. “Right now you send a test out to a lab and for some places it can be four or five days before the results come back.

“That doesn’t help somebody who is infectious, they need to know earlier than that so they can isolate themselves.”

Mayor Adler also said that demand is so high for testing at Austin Public Health sites that it is “hard to get an appointment for several days.”

As a result, he urged everyone who needs a test and has health insurance to instead contact their doctor or insurance provider, freeing up the City of Austin’s testing for uninsured patients.

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