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Maricopa County increasing efforts for virus testing in congregate settings

(Getty Images/Kirsty Wigglesworth-Pool)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Department of Health Administration announced Thursday that efforts are underway to increase coronavirus testing for those in congregate settings.

The metro Phoenix health department is set to release Request for Proposal documents next week in order to expand testing in long-term care facilities and homeless shelters, Maricopa County Public Health Executive Director Marcy Flanagan said during a press conference.

Officials at long-term care centers or homeless shelters wanting their facilities to be tested will be able to access the RFP documents online.

“This will help us more quickly assess the situations and help start cohorting and quarantining to mitigate the spread and slow the spread in these areas,” Flanagan said.

“We are hoping to get as many contracts in place as possible so that we can have these ready to go and send the contracts out and test in whatever facilities need testing.”

Flanagan added that the department has made progress toward its goal of adding 79 new staff members to increase contact tracing throughout the county.

The department has hired 52 new individuals and 32 have begun their duties, she said.

Last week, Flanagan announced it was the Maricopa County health department’s goal to engage 400 to 500 individuals via contact tracing by July 1.

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

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

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