COVID-19 surge triggers testing crisis in US

People in Phoenix waited 13 hours for a test, according to the city's mayor, as labs in some areas are backlogged and some testing sites are short on supplies.
4:01 | 07/08/20

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Transcript for COVID-19 surge triggers testing crisis in US
as the situation grows worst in the south and west and Matt Gutman starts us off in the coronavirus hot spot, Arizona. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Hey, good morning. We are seeing how the covid can impact every aspect of the public health system. There are over 120 members of the Phoenix fire department out because of covid or being that's nearly 10% of its entire workforce and that as icuers here are filling up and perhaps what's most disturb something that it's impossible to avest how much covid there is in the community because if people even can get tested, many are waiting for ten days or more for results. This morning, the national surge in cases is triggering a testing crisis. In Phoenix where the covid positivity rate for swabs is nearly a shocking 30%, the mayor says the lines for testing look like those in a developing We had 13-hour waits in Phoenix. It was heartbreaking for me to watch residents who were aching, sick and sweating, coughing to refill their gas tanks on the street because they had run out while waiting for a test. Reporter: Labs are backlogged and some testing sites are short on supplies. There was this testing police and I thought all these test areas would be available but they're really not. I guess I was just very naive. My child was exposed. I called and they were like, we're out of swabs. Reporter: On Tuesday the department of health and human services announcing new sites in Louisiana, Texas and Florida but Phoenix's mayor telling us so far no federal help in Arizona including the maryville area, one of the zip codes with one of the highest covid rates in the country. Phoenix fire station here handles them. This is a possible covid call. Reporter: Martine says he has splitting headaches and a fever. He is an essential worker. He is in construction. He's now headed to the hospital. This woman just gave birth. What am I going to do? Reporter: As she speaks she reaches for her pendant of St. Jude which couldn't stop those tears. Who is going to take care of you? My mom can help me. Reporter: Latinos and African-Americans are three times more likely to contract it than their white neighbors and twice as likely to die from it. This man says his grandmother was diagnosed and released from the hospital four hours later and days later she succumbed to the virus. A lot of folks hispanic or don't speak the language or can't defend themselves such as my grandmother are scared and they don't know. Reporter: This morning the daily death rate from covid-19 now increasing in a dozen states, 21 states now have reversed, paused or delayed re-opening measures. We want to re-open the schools. Everybody wants it. The moms want it. The dads want it. The kids want it. Reporter: Still president trump saying schools across the country need to re-open in the fall despite the Sturgis in We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools to get them open. Reporter: And in Florida where 56 icus are at capacity, the state is sending 100 nurses to Miami. In San Antonio, the military sending respiratory therapists there and the mayor here says they need help here, cities like Phoenix cannot handle covid just on their own. Let's welcome back Dr. Ashish jha.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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