PHOENIX — Joined by public health and university leaders, Governor Doug Ducey today announced the State of Arizona is investing $14 million additional dollars to support the efforts of Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect Arizona communities.
The state is providing $8 million for additional testing, surveillance and other response efforts at all three universities, including expanding wastewater testing. In addition, Arizona is providing $6 million for the development of Arizona State University’s groundbreaking point-of-need testing, which will allow people such as first responders, health care workers and those in congregate care settings to get COVID-19 test results within minutes.
“Arizona’s universities continue to lead the way in responding to the pandemic and protecting our communities,” said Governor Ducey. “We are excited to continue working with university, public health and community leaders to expand testing and surveillance efforts and to continue identifying best practices in containing the spread of the virus. I’m grateful to Presidents Crow, Robbins and Cheng for their commitment to finding creative solutions and fighting COVID-19.”
To date, Arizona invested more than $31 million for the universities’ COVID-19 response.
In addition to funding announced today, Arizona provided Arizona State University $12.7 million for COVID-19 saliva-based testing. The university developed and deployed one of the first saliva-based tests in the nation. The university has also designed and deployed an online network of 3D printers to quickly produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care providers and hospitals in Arizona.
The University of Arizona has developed one of the most accurate antibody tests in the nation. The state in April provided the university $3.5 million for 250,000 antibody tests for frontline workers, with testing now available to Arizonans ages 18 and up. The university also provided 17,000 diagnostic tests to communities in need, including 7,000 tests for Arizona’s tribal nations. In addition to funding announced today, Arizona provided the University of Arizona $786,500 for funding of two Poison Control Centers to answer COVID-19 related questions and $750,000 for COVID-19 case investigations.
Northern Arizona University’s Center for Health Equity Research is working with the Coconino County Monitoring Team to help investigate and contact trace COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, Northern Arizona’s Regents Professor Dr. Paul Keim is leading the COVID-19 Genomics Union (ACGU) — a collaborative effort between Arizona’s three universities and TGen to sequence, analyze and track different strains of COVID-19.
The Governor was joined at today’s briefing by Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow, University of Arizona President Dr. Bobby Robbins, Northern Arizona President Dr. Rita Cheng, Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ, and Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Director Major General Michael T. McGuire.