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UTRGV COVID-19 call center receiving up to 10,000 calls a day

4 days 6 hours 56 minutes ago Monday, June 29 2020 Jun 29, 2020 June 29, 2020 7:46 PM June 29, 2020 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic

Testing availability at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is increasing. Yet, thousands of calls are getting bottle-necked at the overloaded call center, the dean for the school of medicine said on Monday.

Medical experts representing various healthcare systems across the Valley joined Hidalgo County leaders for a press conference at the Edinburg courthouse annex. All expressed concerns with the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the challenges in providing services like testing.

Two weeks ago, UTRGV's call center was receiving about 1,200 calls a day from people requesting to be scheduled for a test at one of their four sites across the Valley.

"We’re now running around 10,000 calls a day in our call center. Plus, we’re getting about 3,000 web forms that are submitted for testing," Dr. John Krouse, Dean of UTRGV School of Medicine, said.

The call center staffed by eight now has 40 people to help coordinate the testing of as many as 1,000 people a day.

Acquiring supplies is not a challenge, Krouse said.

About 25,000 tests are ready for use. Inventory is replenished weekly with nearly 10,000 kits.

UTRGV receives tests from other parts of the state for analysis in their lab. Krouse credits the partnership with the state with their ability to continue acquiring testing supplies in growing, large quantities.

"There are other facilities that have run out of reagents, that have run out of those kits. But, since we are a large supplier  not only locally, but for the state  we are getting a large amount of those reagents that will allow us to continue testing," Krouse said.

UTRGV has sites in Edinburg, Mercedes, Harlingen, and Brownsville. Test results can be ready in 24 hours.

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