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PCHD to start free pop-up testing in downtown

Doctor in protective workwear taking nose culture swab from patient
Posted at 2:30 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 17:30:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Pima County Health Department will have pop-up COVID-19 testing sites in downtown Tucson starting Thursday, Sept. 17.

These sites will be put up in places with high foot traffic. Tests will be free, but there is a catch.

This testing will be happening from 7 to 10 p.m. So you’re going to have to come downtown, near a bar or a restaurant, during those hours to get tested.

Spencer Graves with the Pima County Health Department says there’s a reason for that.

“We know that COVID testing when you’re going out for drinks is probably not the thing you are going out for, but we wanted to make sure if there are people that are in the downtown area that would like to get tested and cannot do so in their current locations because of work, this is an opportunity,” Graves told KGUN9.

Locations will include Fourth Avenue, University Blvd., Dirt Bags and another nearby location.

Here’s how testing will work.

“We’re going to push everybody to register online ahead of time, but there is an opportunity to do so on-site. This is just inside the nose quick little swab. You’ll find your results within three to five days after,” he added.

Medical staff will be there to help administer the PCR test, which will tell you if you currently have the strain.

“We're trying to stop the stigma of this. So we don’t want it to be ‘oh there’s a testing site that means there’s an outbreak here.’ No. We’re just trying to make sure that we can help identify if there are any people that are going out and eventually spreading it. We can stop that then and there,” said Graves.

For more information on locations, click here.