Banner Health has launched four new drive-through coronavirus testing sites and a phone number to call if you feel sick.
If you are concerned about coronavirus symptoms or exposure, you can now call Banner Health at 1-844-549-1851 to speak with a clinical team member to determine if testing is appropriate. Banner says the line will be staffed from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday.
If a Banner medical professional thinks you need testing, you'll be scheduled for an appointment at one of three Phoenix drive-up testing sites, or one drive-up site in Tucson.
Banner is also working to open more testing sites.
What are the symptoms to look for?
The CDC says fever, cough and shortness of breath are the main symptoms of coronavirus. They can appear two to 14 days after exposure.
Can anyone get tested?
No. You must meet criteria to be tested at one of Banner's testing sites. You must call the phone number to see if you meet criteria. Banner says "individuals cannot request the test and will only be tested if they meet testing criteria.
Walk-in tests are not available. Banner says, "those who arrive without an appointment will be asked to leave and call 1-844-549-1851 to complete the phone screening process."
What happens during a test?
Banner says, "During a patient’s drive-through appointment, they will be asked to remain inside their vehicle. The patient will receive paperwork to complete. This includes a confirmation stating they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they agree to be tested and will self-isolate until Banner contacts them with their test results. After completing the paperwork, a Banner team member will swab inside their nose to collect a sample. This process takes 5-20 minutes. Once completed, the patient will be instructed to return home and isolate until they are contacted with their test results. Samples will be sent to Sonora Quest Laboratories for processing. Results will take roughly 3-5 days to return."
What happens if the test is positive?
"If the results are positive, Banner will notify the county and state health departments and provide the patient with next steps, which could include an additional quarantine period. Abiding by the quarantine period is extremely important to ensure the patient does not spread the virus to others," Banner says.
What happens if the test is negative?
"If test results are negative, the patient will be informed they can return to their normal daily routine if they are asymptomatic. It is recommended that they remain at home if they are still sick. While they may have tested negative for COVID-19, it is possible they have another illness that could spread to others. These patients are advised to manage symptoms at home and contact their primary care provider if they have any questions or concerns," Banner says.
What if your condition is an emergency?
"If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and believe you are experiencing a medical event that requires immediate attention, visit an emergency room for evaluation and treatment. Please put on a mask immediately upon arriving to protect other patients, visitors and health care workers," Banner says.