Arizona health director touts COVID-19 testing availability, speed

Aug 26, 2020, 1:08 PM | Updated: 2:18 pm
Health care professionals prepare to screen people for the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a testing site...
Health care professionals prepare to screen people for the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a testing site erected in a parking lot on April 02, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Coronavirus testing is readily available in Arizona and usually completed within two days, according to the state’s top health official.

Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services director, said in a blog post Wednesday that anybody in the state who needs or wants a COVID-19 diagnostic test can get one.

“Currently, the majority of test results are available within about 48 hours of specimen collection,” she added.

The ADHS website lists about 430 testing locations statewide, including more than 280 in Maricopa County.

Among them are locations that collect samples 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Avondale, Tolleson, Surprise, San Tan Valley and Glendale.

“Because there are adequate testing resources in the state and laboratory turnaround times are now within reasonable timeframes, ADHS continues to recommend that anyone who is concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19 or infected with the virus seek testing,” Christ wrote.

Much of Arizona, including the Phoenix and Tucson metros, is on pace to reach opening status for businesses closed under executive order — indoor gyms, bars/nightclubs, indoor theaters, water parks and tubing operators — when the health department updates its COVID-19 benchmarks dashboard Thursday morning.

Christ said testing remains a crucial part of the public health plan to keep infections down.

“Continued access to testing will improve public health’s ability to detect asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 and conduct case investigations and contact tracing of these cases to contain further spread,” she wrote.

Arizona reported just 187 new coronavirus cases and 104 more deaths on Wednesday morning.

It was the lowest daily case report since May 31 and only the third time since April that fewer than 200 new cases were added in a day.

That put the state’s documented totals at 199,459 COVID-19 infections and 4,896 fatalities.

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Arizona health director touts COVID-19 testing availability, speed