PHOENIX — Desert West Park in Phoenix was home to one of the most successful COVID-19 testing events a Valley health care worker has seen since the pandemic started.
"This is showing us the concern that exists within the Latino community of west Phoenix," said Tomas Leon, a team member at Equality Health.
The event was supposed to go from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, but with the number of attendees, the event went on well into the afternoon.
"We were supposed to end at 11, but because the line is so long, and people still have appointments to see we didn't want to end it. So we are going to keep going probably until we get close to 1,000 tests," said Leon.
Leon tells ABC15 that some showed up starting at 3:00 a.m. to get a spot at the front of the line. The event was set up for 500 nose swabs of COVID-19 but 900 were tested.
"It shows the concern and the need on the west side. That was our intent and our purpose to create access to education and testing and follow-up care that was needed to people who were concerned about exposure to COVID-19."
Councilman Michael Nowakowski represents this district and says Maryvale has some of the highest COVID-19 positive results reported by the Department of Health.
"And if more people show up and we don't have enough, we will have a third event. We want to make sure that there are ways to get tested," said Nowakowski.
Leon says it's not only about testing but after care. "The follow-up care is needed a lot of folks who are high risk have underlying health conditions that they haven't addressed or taken care of or managed," he said.
Another similar testing site will be held on June 27 at Desert West Park from 6 to 11 a.m. Pre-registration is recommended.