PHOENIX - The city of Phoenix is launching a new effort to better serve underserved communities by introducing a second mobile COVID-19 testing lab.
The working-class community has been hit hard by the virus. So instead of these people searching far and wide for a testing site, the testing site is searching for them.
At Cielito Park on 35th Avenue and Campbell, a steady stream of people have arrived to get a COVID-19 test. Tests are done on site in the mobile lab, and walkups, as well as appointments, are welcomed.
The lab offers both rapid and PCR tests. Rapid tests have a 93% accuracy rate and return results in 15 minutes, while PCR tests have a 99% accuracy rate and return results in 24 hours.
Many residents getting tested either had the virus - or may have been exposed - and want to make sure it’s safe to be around their coworkers and their families.
"I tested positive about two weeks ago so I’m back out here to see if I still have it or not," said Charissa, one Phoenix resident. "I have two kids so I haven’t been able to see them in a couple of weeks."
The nasal swabs they use for testing only circle around the front of the nose, and testing is free.
What's keeping some from being tested is either lack of access to quality healthcare or being scared away by the cost of the testing.
Chris Kramer was getting a COVID-19 test on Wednesday, saying, "Bunch of guys work in arm in arm. A couple of us are here today. We just want to make sure we’re healthy and safe."
Marrya Raygoza is the director of operations at Premier Lab Solutions and says, "It feels good to help these people because a lot of these underserved communities don’t have access to insurance and don’t feel like they can get the testing. But they definitely can through the CARES Act."
Some drive-thru sites cost more than $100, but not when you're being tested at the van's site.
Kelli Kopkash, VP of sales at Premiere Lab Solutions says, "One thing that’s important to know about this lab and the city of Phoenix testing, it is completely free."
Find out the next locations for the testing van: https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/em-and-hs/1399
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