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Amarillo working to meet immediate demand increase for COVID-19 testing

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 6:25 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Coming out of the holiday season, the Amarillo Public Health department has caught up on the tracking of COVID-19 cases, and they have noticed a dramatic increase.

On Monday’s COVID-19 report card, there were 238 new cases of COVID-19 in Potter and Randall counties.

Today that number is 617.

With the jump in cases, more people are going out to get tested.

“We have around 90 spots available at the drive through testing site each day, and those are filling up each day,” said Casie Stoughton, public health director for the City of Amarillo. “We are certainly seeing an increase in demand for testing.”

For people who are ill from the Omicron variant--state health officials and the CDC have given the directive to prioritize prescribing the infusion -sotromivab- for treatment.

The Amarillo public health department says it’s working on a tight supply.

“Because we’ve made that switch to sotromivab, there’s just fewer doses that we have available,” said Stoughton. “So, we have implemented kind of a more strict prioritization of patients who are receiving that medication.”

The Amarillo chamber of commerce, normally having 6 test kit boxes in reserve for businesses in the state’s COVID-19 testing pilot program, is currently waiting on more boxes to come in.

“There is obviously a high demand for testing kits right now, and I think that’s kind of seen everywhere, and so the chamber is currently out of those testing kits,” said Penni Bentley, vice president of communications and marketing for the Amarillo chamber of commerce.

The chamber is currently working with a new process from the Texas Division of Emergency Management for businesses to directly order testing.

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