Arizona taking more steps to increase availability of COVID-19 testing

Jun 24, 2020, 11:46 AM | Updated: 11:56 am

(AP Photo)...

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona continues to expand testing for the coronavirus, sending more specimen collection kits and another diagnostics machine to a lab partner, state officials announced Wednesday.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s office said in a press release that Sonora Quest Laboratories was getting another testing machine and that the Arizona Department of Health Services would provide more funding for labs’ testing services, if needed.

The health department recently provided 10,000 collection kits to Sonora Quest.

“We are working to give our big providers … more capacity, so that test results are turned quicker,” health services Director Dr. Cara Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

Another 50 testing sites were added to the department’s website, Christ said, and plans were underway to add more.

“We know there is a high demand for testing in Arizona, and our public health team is working tirelessly with health care partners and private testing labs to develop new strategies to alleviate the wait times for testing and results,” Ducey said in the release.

Earlier Wednesday, the state reported 79 new coronavirus deaths, a single-day high, but most were older incidents reclassified based on death-certificate matching.

The department also reported 1,795 new coronavirus cases, about half the previous day’s single-day record of 3,591.

The state now has documented totals of 59,974 cases and 1,463 deaths.

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Arizona taking more steps to increase availability of COVID-19 testing