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Pima County prepares for increased demand for COVID testing

Pima County COVID-19 Testing Center
Posted at 8:42 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 00:13:46-05

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — While the days of waiting in holiday shopping lines may be over, new lines are forming at COVID-19 testing centers around Pima County.

"I know some people pretty close to me that visited their family. They wanted to be safe before, and definitely after, if they thought one of their family members was sick," said Shawn Johnstone, a patient at a Pima County COVID-19 Testing Center.

Pima County Health Department's testing center in Downtown Tucson stayed busy on Monday. They offered free antigen rapid tests, even for those who didn't have symptoms or a recommendation from their doctor.

"Demand for testing is certainly up. We're doing our best to keep up with it. There's a lot of capacity here and our other locations," said Pima County Health Department Division Manager, Louie Valenzuela.

Six clinics are open throughout Pima County. If you don't have much time to wait for test results, there are other options.

"We do offer some opportunities to pick up self-tests for those that need to do it at home. That is an available option but, again, demand is high," said Valenzuela.

Pima County's supply of BinaxNOW tests can be administered at home. Results are shared in just 15 minutes.

"100% free, but supplies are limited. We ask that one person picks up one box per visit," said Valenzuela.

To avoid a false negative result, the CDC recommends testing five to seven days after coming in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

"We do open up more mobile pop-up testing opportunities, so we have that increased capacity. We also work with our partners, such as this location, to increase their appointments and their on-site booking so that we can accommodate a lot of that demand," said Valenzuela.

For a full list of Pima County's COVID-19 testing centers, click here.