Ducey says Arizona prioritizing COVID-19 testing for at-risk populations

Mar 27, 2020, 6:00 PM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey said on Friday that Arizona is not discouraging testing for potentially coronavirus-infected individuals, but rather prioritizing it for those most at risk.

Ducey’s claim came two days after Dr. Cara Christ, the state’s public health director, sent a letter to primary care providers in which she advised to not test most patients because of shortages of supplies.

The state health department said Friday that more than 10,000 tests have been conducted in Arizona.

We’re not going to stop testing people, we’re going to increase testing,” Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Friday. “What Dr. Christ is saying is let’s prioritize testing to our at-risk populations. We want Arizonans to be tested.”

Ducey added that the state is trying to protect those — like individuals 65 and older with prior health issues — who are more susceptible to spreading or getting more sick from illness.

Case numbers in the state have rose rapidly in the past week as testing has become more readily available, especially from the private sector.

So far, Arizona has seen 13 deaths during the coronavirus outbreak.

Jessica Rigler, assistant director of Arizona’s Department of Health Services, said the recommendation is more of a guideline.

“This isn’t a specific restriction so much as a recommendation for providers across Arizona to ensure that we’re able to conserve the limited testing and personal protective resources that we have in order to care for the patients with the highest risk of disease or individuals who have the highest risk of spreading disease to vulnerable populations,” Rigler said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Stage 2 fire restrictions set to begin this week across Arizona due to wildfire threat

Stage 2 fire restrictions are set to begin across Arizona this week due to heightened wildfire activity and dry conditions, officials said.
1 day ago
(Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Arizona appeals court says ban on per-signature initiative is illegal

A 2017 law that makes it a crime to pay people for each signature they collect to qualify voter initiatives for the ballot violates the First Amendment and the first criminal case filed using the law must be dismissed, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Suspect in custody after allegedly exchanging gunfire with Phoenix police

A suspect was in custody after allegedly exchanging gunfire with police in north Phoenix on Tuesday, authorities said.
1 day ago
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 2...

Arizona politicians react to mass shooting at elementary school in Texas

Arizona politicians reacted Tuesday to a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two adults dead. 
1 day ago
FILE - Water drips from a faucet near boat docks sitting on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How cities in the West have water amid drought

Major Western cities like Phoenix have diversified water sources and boosted supplies through infrastructure investments and conservation.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lines)...
Danny Shapiro

Yuma border migrant backlog an ongoing problem despite Title 42 extension, official says

Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines said the border community continues to deal with an influx of migrants that want to come to the U.S.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Ducey says Arizona prioritizing COVID-19 testing for at-risk populations