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Arizona health department extends free COVID-19 saliva testing in Phoenix

(ASU Biodesign Institute Photo)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Health Services on Monday announced a second session of free COVID-19 testing using a saliva sample process developed at Arizona State University.

The drive-thru sample collection will take place Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Ak-Chin Pavilion in west Phoenix.

The diagnostic saliva testing process was developed by the ASU Biodesign Institute.

The school is partnering with the state on the free program, which debuted Saturday with four hours of collection at the same location.

Anybody who wants to take part must preregister online using the code jdzkkww6.

Details about future sessions, including the registration code, will be listed on the state’s website when plans are finalized.

Children under the age of 10 can’t take the tests.

Most coronavirus diagnostic testing requires a sample collected via a swab inserted deeply into the nasal cavity.

ASU’s saliva method is touted as less invasive while being just as effective at detecting active COVID-19 infections.

Results are typically available within 48 hours, according to ASU.

The Biodesign Institute posted a video explaining the saliva collection process.

Arizona reported 1,357 new coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths Monday, increasing the state’s totals to 123,824 cases and 2,245 fatalities.

There have been more than 701,000 PCR tests completed in Arizona since the start of the pandemic, including 6,240 added to the total Monday.

However, testing capacity has been strained and turnaround times have been growing longer.

Sonora Quest Laboratories, which conducts about 80% of Arizona’s testing, announced plans last week to increase its capacity from about 7,000 tests a day to 60,000 tests daily by the end of August.

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

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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