PRIMER: Arizona Continues To Ramp Up Testing

News Release

October 8, 2020

COVID-19 testing is available statewide, with more sites and opportunities to get tested added daily. From 500+ sites available across the state to drive-thru testing, saliva-based testing and more, Arizonans who want a test with quick results can get it. 

Last week, the Governor announced that Arizona is receiving 2.19 million Abbott rapid point-of-care tests over the coming weeks from the federal government. The tests can produce results within 15 minutes. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is working with county health departments to prioritize the tests for K-12 schools and congregate care facilities for vulnerable individuals.

In September, the state provided $6 million to Arizona State University for the development of the 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 provided an additional $8 million for all three universities to use for COVID-19 response efforts, including expanding testing. 

In July, ADHS partnered with Arizona State University to offer free saliva-based testing. Ongoing sites are in place in Maricopa, Pima, and Coconino counties, with additional testing events in Cochise, Graham and La Paz Counties. Additional events are being planned for Gila and Santa Cruz counties. View the list of available saliva-based testing sites HERE

In mid-July, Arizona partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide free COVID-19 testing opportunities in the Phoenix area to support underserved communities. This opportunity was further expanded throughout the state with test sites offered in Cochise, Coconino, Mohave, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma Counties.

In June, Arizona provided support to Sonora Quest Laboratories and TGen to increase capacity for PCR testing statewide. Arizona’s support included:

  • Providing additional funding to increase collection sites to expand access;

  • Providing 10,000 specimen collection kits to Sonora Quest Laboratories to assist with increased demand;

  • Providing $1 million each to Sonora Quest Laboratories and TGen to support COVID-19 testing; and 

  • Distributing 51,462 specimen collection kits to healthcare partners, laboratories and local health departments and assisted with procuring equipment, reagents, test kits, and testing supplies for Arizona testing laboratories.

In May, ADHS and private health care partners teamed up to increase access to testing. The partnership led to the development of the AZ Testing Locator, which now shows more than 500 testing sites across the state. 

In April, Arizona partnered with the University of Arizona to provide free antibody testing to health care workers and first responders. This program has recently been expanded to allow all Arizonans 18+ to access the free antibody testing.

Additionally, in April, ADHS joined forces with health care partners across Arizona to launch the Arizona Testing Blitz with the goal of increasing COVID-19 testing statewide. As part of the blitz, drive-through or onsite testing was available at various locations across the state.