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Partnership providing coronavirus testing for homeless in metro Phoenix

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

PHOENIX — A private-public partnership involving several entities is providing coronavirus testing for the homeless population in metro Phoenix.

Valley-based Sonora Quest Labs donated 300 tests to Community Solutions, a national nonprofit that supports local efforts to end homelessness, to test metro Phoenix’s homeless population for the spreading virus.

The tests are being administered by Circle the City, a federally qualified health center that provides care for the homeless population.

Homeless service provider Community Bridges, Inc., is providing transportation and other needs for individuals who want to be tested.

“The Sonora Quest team has a history of collaboration and compassion to support Arizona communities through hours of volunteer work, frequent blood drives, and in-kind testing,” David Dexter, president and CEO of Sonora Quest Laboratories, said in a press release.

“When we have an opportunity to partner with our state’s outreach organizations and bring high-quality testing to our most vulnerable and underserved populations, we are proud to answer the call and make health care accessible.”

Testing for the metro Phoenix population through the partnership began May 2.

There are about 7,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in Maricopa County, according to the release.

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people living in shelters can spread the virus at high rates regardless of whether they are exhibiting symptoms.

“Addressing the needs of people experiencing homelessness has always been a public health imperative. What this pandemic has done is lay this truth bare, as urgently and clearly as ever,” Tamara Wright, systems transformation advisor for Community Solutions, said in the release.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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