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Here’s how to get free COVID-19 testing in metro Phoenix

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing takes place at South Mountain Park in Phoenix on July 17. (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX – Arizona was plagued by test supply shortages, long lines for testing and long turnaround times for results when the state became a coronavirus hot spot in June and July.

But that’s been changing, with ramped-up testing across the state and a variety of free COVID-19 programs available across metro Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Health Services website lists more than 350 testing sites in the state.

Policies for patient criteria, billing and preregistration vary by location.

Several ongoing Valley programs offer free tests, in most cases to anybody who wants one. Here’s a look at where to find them (all are for diagnostic PCR tests and require preregistration unless noted):

Arizona State University saliva testing: The ASU Biodesign Institute created a saliva test for COVID-19 that is less invasive than the nasal swab collection process used for most testing.

The following sessions using the test, with results available within 48 hours, have been scheduled for the week starting Aug. 3 in the West Valley and Tucson:

  • Tuesday (Aug. 4): State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, 6:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday (Aug. 5): Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix, 6:30-10:30 a.m.; Ellie Towne Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, Tucson, 7 a.m.-noon.
  • Thursday (Aug. 6): State Farm Stadium, 6:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Friday (Aug. 7): Ak-Chin Pavilion, 6:30-10:30 a.m.; Ellie Towne Community Center, 7 a.m.-noon.
  • Saturday (Aug. 8): State Farm Stadium, 6:30-10:30 a.m.

Find information about signing up for the upcoming sessions, and others after they’ve been scheduled, here.

HeroZona Foundation: The nonprofit group’s testing is available Tuesdays-Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Park (7858 S. 35th Ave.) until Aug. 8. Reservations are not required.

HeroZona’s drive-thru program started in early July at South Mountain Community College before relocating.

Find more information here.

Watts Family Maryvale YMCA: In partnership with Embry Women’s Health, the YMCA on 67th Avenue near Indian School Road in Phoenix is hosting free drive-thru testing each Saturday and Sunday through August. The site will offer diagnostic and antibody tests.

Find details about registration here.

University of Arizona antibody testing: UArizona is expanding access to its free statewide testing for COVID-19 antibodies, which indicate a person had an infection but has recovered.

Essential workers in 15 additional categories, including educators, child care workers and members of the National Guard, have been added to the list of those eligible. The program started with just health care providers and first responders.

Find details about eligibility, locations and registration here.

Valle del Sol: The community health and human services group is providing free testing at two Glendale locations for the week starting Aug. 3.

Specimens will be taken Wednesday-Thursday at Apollo High School (8045 N. 47th Ave.) and Friday-Saturday at Glendale Landmark School (5730 W. Myrtle Ave.).

Appointments are required, with each session running from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Find information about registration here.

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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