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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Banner Health announces new process for COVID-19 testing in Arizona

Courtesy Katie Riley

Banner University Medical Center – Tucson

This week, Banner Health announced that they will implement a new process regarding coronavirus testing.

As of March 24, there have been over 300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona along with five deaths, according to The New York Times and KTAR-FM.

According to the press release, those with “exposure can now call Banner Health at 1-844-549-1851 to speak with a clinical team member to determine if testing is appropriate. The line will be staffed from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday.”

RELATED: How does COVID-19 manifest and what can you do if you begin to show symptoms?

If an individual meets the Center for Disease Control criteria for testing, then they will be scheduled for an appointment at one of the four Banner drive-through sites. Banner has made it clear that they will only see people who have an appointment.

Currently, Arizona has four drive-through sites, with three of them located in Phoenix and one in Tucson. What can you expect to happen at one of these sites?

For starters, you will be asked to stay in your car while a worker in full personal protective equipment will come to your car and perform a test which looks for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a novel strain of a coronavirus.

The current test involves a swab that reaches the back of the throat through the nose. After the test if completed, patients will typically be asked to return back home and self-quarantine until the results come back, which takes roughly three to five days.

Most diagnostic testing for COVID-19 involves a swab to the back of the throat through the nose.

Source: UC Davis Health, MedVisuals
Most diagnostic testing for COVID-19 involves a swab to the back of the throat through the nose.

Source: UC Davis Health, MedVisuals

If the patient test positive, then “Banner will notify the county and state health departments and provide the patient with next steps, which could include an additional quarantine period,” according to the press release. “Abiding by the quarantine period is extremely important to ensure the patient does not spread the virus to others.”

RELATED: OPINION: Please, please, please stay inside

Currently, about 8% of the tests are coming back positive nationwide but have been as high as 28% in places like New York, the current epicenter of the pandemic in the country, according to The New York Times.

If nothing is convincing you to stay home, the pain of the current coronavirus test might convince you otherwise.

Continue to follow CDC guidelines regarding how to slow the spread of the virus as the pandemic continues to grow at “astronomical numbers” in places around the nation.

Follow Amit Syal on Twitter

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