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Pima County: COVID tests 'critical' to slow the spread

Posted at 3:43 PM, Feb 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 17:44:00-05

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Pima County Health Department says the impact of stopping testing would have negative implications.

As of right now, about 50% of COVID-19 testing within Pima County is administered at county sites. The other half is done at private facilities like pharmacies or hospitals.

The health department says testing for COVID-19 is critical to have a sense of what is happening with percent positivity in our community.

PCHD, Dr. Theresa Cullen said "Our positivity rate is the number of tests that are positive, based on the number of tests that are done. So, you can imagine right if all of a sudden we quit testing let's say the whole county quit testing, it would look like COVID went away, because there wouldn't be any way to recognize that people have COVID. Now, obviously clinicians recognize it with clinical symptoms also, but there's no test results for us to follow."

County-run testing is also free and does not require insurance.

Dr. Cullen worries that people who cannot afford healthcare would forgo being tested in order to save money.