Wednesday, March 25, 2020

'Stolen' COVID-19 Kits Were 'Accidentally Removed'

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 8:21 AM

The Tucson Police Department is confirming the coronavirus test kits thought to be stolen from the El Rio Health Center last Friday, were actually "accidentally removed."

It turns out the person of interest was a "legitimate delivery driver for a third-party transport company that subcontracts for Sonora Quest Laboratories," according to a recent TPD news release.

Apparently the driver mistook which package he was supposed to pick up at El Rio and left with a batch of unused coronavirus test kits on Friday evening. Staff at EL Rio realized the kits were missing and called the mixup in as a theft, instead of calling the transport company first.

"A delivery slip retained by the transport company’s branch manager corroborated the man’s account," the release stated.

The unused kits have been returned to El Rio.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. However, some cases of the virus are entirely asymptomatic. Practices to avoid infection include social distancing (of at least six feet), washing your hands, avoiding unnecessary trips and not touching your face. COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on stainless steel and plastic surfaces up to three days.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, speak with a healthcare provider for medical advice. According to the CDC, people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Stay at home and avoid public transportation, but stay in touch with your doctor. If you do leave your home, wear a facemask and clean your hands often. If you develop more severe symptoms (persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, bluish lips) get medical attention immediately. Your local health authorities will give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

Have you caught COVID-19? Are you feeling ill? Is your small business struggling to make it Have you lost your job as a result of the outbreak? Are you struggling to manage your kids while schools are closed? Tell us your COVID-19 stories. Send an email to

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