City of Phoenix sees surge in COVID-19 testing, mainly school-aged kids

Aug 10, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 1:42 pm
(File photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
(File photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(File photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – It has been nearly a year since the city of Phoenix launched a first-of-its-kind mobile COVID-19 testing unit that offers free, convenient and fast COVID-19 testing.

The testing unit is in collaboration with its health care partner Vincere Cancer Center and is part of the city’s effort to deliver free coronavirus testing to underserved communities.

Like many other testing sites, the city’s COVID-19 testing van experienced a lull for the past several months.

However, the city has reported the number of those seeking a COVID-19 test in the last two weeks has quadrupled with the new delta variant of the virus taking hold in Arizona.

“We were doing maybe 100 tests a day, now we’re up to doing 400 tests per day,” Dr. Vershalee Shukla with Vincere Cancer Center told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

At their busiest last December, Shukla estimated testing 2,000 per day in Phoenix.

The mobile testing unit to date has approximately a 10% to 15% positivity rate.

Although this isn’t the first time the mobile COVID-19 testing unit has seen an influx, there is something different this year compared to last year.

“A lot more kids are being tested now,” Shukla said. “We never tested this many kids last year, but this year there is a lot more school-aged kids that are getting tested.”

The kids who are getting tested do present symptoms, Shukla said.

Vincere Cancer Center’s mobile testing unit offers testing with no out-of-pocket cost, including antibody tests, rapid antigen tests and rapid PCR tests.

Those interested can find the mobile testing unit’s location and book an appointment online.

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City of Phoenix sees surge in COVID-19 testing, mainly school-aged kids