PHOENIX — Banner Health announced Monday there will be a new process to test for COVID-19 in Arizona and it includes drive-thru testing sites.
There will be three testing sites in the Phoenix metro area and one in Tucson. Several more are expected to be open later.
Those concerned about symptoms or exposure to the virus can now call Banner Health at 1-844-549-1851 to speak with a clinical team member to determine if they should be tested.
The line is staffed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
If a person meets the CDC requirements for testing they will be scheduled for an appointment at one of the sites.
The sites will not accept walk-ins. Everyone must be screened over the phone first and be scheduled for an appointment. Those who arrive without an appointment will be asked to leave.
From their vehicle the patient will fill out paperwork which includes agreeing to self-isolation if they test positive for COVID-19.
The patient's mouth and nose will be swabbed. This process will take 5-20 minutes.
Then the patient will be asked to go home and self-isolate until the results are returned in about 3-5 days.
If a patient tests positive Banner Health will report it to the county and state health departments. The patient will most likely be asked to quarantine.
Anyone in need of immediate medical attention is asked to go to an emergency room. Put on a mask as soon as you get there to protect other patients, visitors and health care workers.
COVID-19 is believed to be primarily spread through coughs or sneezes.
It may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread, the CDC says.
You should consult your doctor if you traveled to an area currently affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, so the best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
You can text FACTS to 602-444-1212 to receive more information on the coronavirus and to ask questions.
Coronavirus facts you should know