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City of Tucson could fund city-wide tests for COVID-19

Posted at 10:40 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 01:40:50-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A memo from Vice-Mayor Paul Cunningham and endorsed by Mayor Regina Romero proposes a widespread COVID-19 testing blitz in Tucson.

It's a three phase plan that proposes testing 1,000 people everyday for a goal of 30 days.

The memo suggests one drive-thru testing site in each ward across the city, not exclusive to residents of Tucson.

The second phase involves collecting 500 samples of convalescent plasma, from people who have recovered from the coronavirus, to use as a treatment for infected patients.

The third phase aims at city funded research for treatment protocols, that's CDC and FDA approved treatments to be used at patients in Tucson and the surrounding areas.

Cunningham said the tests are an aggressive effort by the city to return to normal.

He said the issue could go before the Council next week for a vote and, pending approval, would be executed by the City Manager.

"The Manager will need a few days, it's not just going to pop up the next day, but I'd like to believe that before Memorial Day weekend, we'll have our first testing site up."

Cunningham said the investment in tests and treatments would be funded by federal relief dollars from the cares act and shouldn't cost more than $3 million dollars.

These tests, Cunningham said, are in coordination with tests already being conducted in the city.