Valley group trying to make COVID-19 testing available for more people in Arizona

With COVID-19 cases increasing in the state, there is now a push to make sure information is available in other languages, as well as for low-income neighborhoods.

Many organizations have started seeing issues in these communities, one being the language barrier. On July 25, FOX 10 spoke with one woman who says the reality is in many of these communities, there are essential employees that need to be healthy and safe before they head to work.

Organization opening indoor testing sites

Angela Florez with Valle Del Sol says the organization chose to partake in COVID-19 testing to give equal opportunity to Black and Latino communities. As COVID-19 cases began to rise - disparities became apparent in those communities. For one, while drive-thru testing appears to be a good idea, it's not helpful for people who don't have a car.

"First round of tests were drive-thru test that doesn’t speak to people on buses, people on bikes, so that was one of the things," said Florez. "Our latest round of testing are indoors. It requires a lot more set up and it requires a lot more manageable meant of social distancing and that sort of thing, but it is meant to address the many disparities."

Valle Del sol is opening up six testing locations, all along a bus route. They are making sure that testing registrations don't require identification, allowing homeless and undocumented individuals to feel safe while being tested.

Arizona state representative Cesar Chavez says it's not only about accessibility but availability, especially for working families. 

"The availability to go in at a time when you're not working, for example," said State Rep. Chavez. "These new test sites that are up there from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., most of the people are having to work, and that’s the biggest reason as to why these individuals can’t stay home."

Language, internet access also issues

On top of those disparities is the language barrier for many Latino families: making sure they feel safe, comfortable, and understand what is happening during testing.

Another problem is the lack of internet connection in many of these communities

"Another disparity that popped up is a lot of people may not have internet access to register for a testing event, so we have to absolutely get that," said Florez. "So we have a call center that is also bilingual, so we can ask those questions and we keep them very basic. We don't ask for Social Security. We don't ask for ID. We simply say ID is encouraged, but not required for a test."

Governor's Office speaks out

In a statement to FOX 10, officials with the Arizona Governor's Office say there is now free testing available in South Phoenix and Maryvale, partnering with local organizations. Information is available in Spanish and no one will be turned away if they decide to not show ID.

Testing sites

Officials with Valle Del Sol say they have set up the following test sites:

  1. 3807 N. 7th Street, Phoenix,  near 7th Street and Indian School)
  2. 1209 S. 1st Ave, Phoenix, near Central and Buckeye
  3. 334 W. 10th Place Ste. 100, Mesa, near Country Club & Brown

In addition, they say there will be testing events at local schools in the near future, including:

  1. Morris K Udall Elementary, 3715 W. Roosevelt St. in Phoenix, on July 28
  2. Pueblo del Sol Middle School, 3449 N. 39th Ave. in Phoenix, on July 29 and 30
  3. Granada Elementary School - East Campus, 3022 W. Campbell Ave in Phoenix, on July 31 and August 1

Valle Del Sol COVID-19 testing appointments

Phone: (602) 523-9312

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COVID-19 symptoms

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.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

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.

COVID-19 resources


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (In Spanish/En Espanol)

Arizona Department of Health Services (In Spanish/En Español)

MAP: Worldwide interactive Coronavirus case data