A few days after a cyberattack disabled the website for Embry Women’s Health, one of Arizona’s largest COVID-19 testing sources, the agency broke its record for most tests in a day Monday: 15,000.
“Before this, we had never exceeded 12,000 patients,” said CEO Raymond Embry. “We are continuing to see an exponential increase in the need for tests all over Arizona.”
Embry Women’s Health operates more than 30 COVID-19 test sites across the state and was hit with a distributed denial-of-service attack Friday that caused the main website to go down multiple times.
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Embry said he is still unsure of the source of the cyberattack, but he said it was disheartening someone would try to “take down a vital resource for the state.”
“We had to deploy a new server overnight on Friday and relaunch it entirely,” he said. “Thankfully, it has been stable ever since. The numbers prove we had no time to waste.”
Since the launch, the website has seen about 3,200 users every hour, racking up more than 150,000 visits per week. According to Embry, the agency is preparing to hit 20,000 daily tests in the week following Thanksgiving.
“I think there will be a huge spike in demand,” he said. “You may know where your siblings have been, but you never know where your brother’s girlfriend has been — every additional person widens the bubble.”
A health care worker tests a person for COVID-19 on July 2, 2020. (Photo: Sean Logan/The Republic)
In order to receive a “zero-cost” test at any of Embry Women’s Health drive-through test sites, Embry said people should preregister online at TestNOW. But they will not be turned away if they do not register beforehand.
The nasal-swab test, which is a swab that collects a sample on the inside tip of the nose, will either be billed to the person’s health insurance company or it will be paid for by federal funds, Embry said.
Patients can also get in touch with Embry Women’s Health office through a phone call or text at 480-376-2170. All 24-hour test sites also offer flu vaccinations, according to Embry.
In addition to the main website, patients can also access results via text and email and through TestNOW.
Embry said although he advocates for people to get tested frequently, it’s important to him that people understand testing is not “foolproof” in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“Testing is important, but it’s only one element in the prevention strategy. When it comes down to it, your results are a reflection of a snapshot in time. Yes, get tested, but know there’s always more work to be done when it comes to protecting yourself and your family.”
Reach the reporter Jamie Landers at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @jamielanderstv
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