PHOENIX - July 28 is the last day for Arizonans to take advantage of free COVID-19 surge testing at two locations in the Valley.
The two federally-backed testing sites are located at Maryvale High School and South Mountain Park. In between them, the two sites are able do fo 5,000 tests a day, and there is a goal to do 60,000 surge tests. Through July 26, under 13,000 tests had been given
Local lawmaker urges people to take the test
"At first we had a slow outcome, but we started really reaching out through community organizations, community advocacy groups, and made sure everyone knew these tests were free," said State Rep. César Chávez. The Democratic lawmaker represents District 29, which covers a portion of Phoenix's Maryvale area.
State Rep. Chávez has been urging constituents to take advantage of the free tests with low wait times. He got his test recently.
"I was told after I got tested on a Saturday morning that my results would come in around 24-48 hours," State Rep. Chávez "It took about four days to get those test results."
Health expert says testing can't slow down
The sites promised quick turnaround times, but Arizona and Sonora Quest, the lab processing most state tests, still has a backlog of more than 42,000 tests. Former state health director Will Humble says testing can’t slow down now.
"Here’s what I hope happens is that the backlog gets cleared, the turnaround times improve, and that will incentivize more people to go get tested when they want to get tested," said Humble.
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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Espanol)
Arizona Department of Health Services