PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — With COVID-19 cases spiking and the omicron variant remaining highly transmissible, a new testing site is opening in Pima County with assistance from FEMA.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 9 will fund a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Pima Community College West Campus, located at 2202 W Anklam Road, per the request of the Pima County Health Department.
Starting Monday, Jan. 24, site hours will be between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday; however, the county plans to hold a 'soft launch' Saturday, Jan. 22, availability will begin at 11 a.m., with up to a 1,000 available appointments.
Once the testing site fully opens Monday, staff are expected to administer between 1,000-2,000 tests per day. Self-swab PCR tests will be handed out and results will be provided to individuals within about 48 hours.
Testing will be free and an ID is not required, although pre-registration is highly recommended, registration will be provided the day of testing. To pre-register for a COVID test at the new site, click here. It is noted that those who pre-register need to bring proof of voucher.
At the site, vehicles will be directed to enter from Anklam Road. The site is also on a Sun Tran bus line.
“The Omicron surge and federal messaging about the availability and utility of rapid antigen testing are again creating increased demand that is not easily accommodated by the existing local COVID-19 testing capacity,” said Acting County Administrator Jan Lesher in a Jan. 12 memo to the Board of Supervisors. “For this reason, the community is again looking to Pima County to provide low-barrier, no cost testing.”
The expanded testing availability is in efforts to protect residents from COVID-19. The county says the new testing site will offer a variety of testing services that is already provided by the health department and its partners, which includes PCR and rapid antigen testing options at numerous sites in Tucson, along with mobile testing availability.
It is estimated that 2.5 million tests have been conducted by the county and its clinical partners, according to Pima County.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our focus has been keeping our students, employees and community healthy,” Pima Community College Chancellor Lee D. Lambert said. “We are proud that our ongoing partnership with the Pima County Health Department will bring trusted, high-quality COVID testing to our community.”
Last spring, FEMA also assisted with vaccinations in Pima County by providing mobile vaccination units, which included a site at the PCC West Campus.