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New strike force aims to test 60K Arizonans for COVID-19 in 12 days

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing was offered at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix on July 14, 2020. (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX – State and federal agencies are teaming up on a coronavirus testing strike force that will test up to 60,000 Arizonans at two Phoenix sites over 12 days.

The free drive-thru testing will begin Friday and be conducted at South Mountain Park (10919 S. Central Ave.) and Maryvale High School (3415 N 59th Ave.), the Arizona Department of Health Services announced Tuesday.

Information about required pre-registration is available on the health department’s website.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has committed up to 2,500 diagnostic PCR tests at each site per day to partner with Arizona’s health department and Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.

“Increased community testing is a critical public health tool to help us reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Arizona,” Arizona Health Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a press release. “Over the last several months we have been working with partners across the state to increase COVID-19 testing.

“The high-volume, rapid testing that our federal partners can provide will help increase testing to underserved areas of the state. We appreciate the help from our federal, state, and local partners to increase access to testing.”

Samples will be collected via self-administered nasal swabs, and results will made available through an online portal 24-48 hours after the specimens arrive at the lab.

Participants will also be given five cloth face masks.

The Arizona health department lists information about more than 300 other testing locations on its website.

There have been more than 721,000 PCR tests completed in Arizona since the start of the pandemic, including 19,488 added to the total Tuesday.

The Arizona health department reported 4,273 new coronavirus cases and 92 additional deaths on Tuesday morning. A portion of those cases were reported too late to make it into Monday’s report, and 23 of the deaths were the result of death certificate matching.

That brought the state’s totals to 128,097 COVID-19 cases and 2,337 deaths.

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