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More types of testing coming to Arizona, but still not widespread testing

Coronavirus testing in Arizona
Posted at 7:34 PM, Apr 14, 2020

Arizona’s governor announced Tuesday that more types of COVID-19 testing are coming to the state, but the types of testing will not mean widespread testing.

In a press conference, Governor Doug Ducey announced that all 15 Abbott tests have arrived in the state as they can detect results in as little as 15 minutes.

However, these tests will only be used for vulnerable populations.

Governor Doug Ducey also announced that Walgreens has chosen Arizona as one of 14 states to open drive-through testing operations, however the details on this were not made available at this time.

It is also unclear who will be able to use the drive-thru testing as the state has strict criteria for testing.

On top of rapid tests, and drive-thru testing, the governor announced antibody testing.

This type of testing will be with the University of Arizona as they will do 250,000 tests for healthcare professionals and first responders.

According to a press release, the University of Arizona will administer the antibody tests to check for antibodies through an individual’s blood sample to determine if they were exposed to COVID-19, had the virus and recovered.

“Antibody testing is not a cure-all, but learning more about it is an important step to identifying community exposure, helping us make decisions about how we protect our citizens, and getting us to the other side of this pandemic more quickly,” Governor Ducey said. “Our health care workers and first responders are on the front lines, and my top priority is to identify ways to protect them and I am eager to get this underway.”

ABC15 asked the state’s public health director, Dr. Cara Christ, about talks of reopening the economy without widespread testing as the state does not have all the accurate data without it, and the governor responded.

“Of course we should be talking about opening things up, and I’ve been thinking about opening things up, every day,” said Governor Doug Ducey, “there’s just no way that we continue like this forever, so the idea of finding when it is safe, and responsible to do it and to be prepared.”

Dr. Christ was asked about lack of widespread testing later and said they are looking at other data than testing numbers, “the health of our health care system that’s really what we’re trying to protect by doing these mitigation strategies, so as long as our healthcare system is protected, we’ll continue to develop strategies.”

The state also said on Tuesday that they plan to release data models and projections in the next day or two despite holding back before.