Banner Health Opens Drive-Thru Testing. Insurance Not Required


By Camaron Stevenson

March 23, 2020

Tests take 5-20 minutes to perform, and patients must call in advance.

The spike in cases came as Banner Health opened several coronavirus testing sites in the state on Monday.

This comes after Arizona health officials announced the death of a second individual who died as a result of contracting the coronavirus on Sunday. The victims of the virus were two men over 50 with underlying medical conditions, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Nationally, more than 400 individuals have died from the coronavirus.

The number of confirmed cases of the virus is also on the rise. On Sunday, there were 152 reported cases in Arizona. That number jumped to 235 Monday morning.

Thus, the Arizona-based healthcare provider announced that three drive-up sites in metro Phoenix and one in Tucson are up and running, with more in the works. Banner Health officials also said they will not turn away individuals seeking tests who have no health insurance.

For those with insurance, Gov. Doug Ducey announced an executive order last week that helps to relieve some of the financial burden associated with medical visits. The order removes co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles for coronavirus tests performed after March 11.

People who believe they may need testing must first call a hotline to talk to medical personnel. If they are found to meet the criteria, they will be assigned an appointment time at a drive-thru site. Once at the site, clinic staff will take a swab of DNA from the patient’s nose. The entire process takes between five and 20 minutes.

People have tested positive in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, including 139 cases in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous.

On Saturday, the health department launched its Spanish-language webpage after coming under criticism for a lack of information in the country’s second-most spoken language. Ducey has also begun tweeting information about the virus in Spanish.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some older adults and people with health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. For all your latest coronavirus news, sign up for our Courier Daily Coronavirus Updates newsletter.


  • Camaron Stevenson

    Camaron is the Founding Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for The Copper Courier, and has worked as a journalist in Phoenix for over a decade. He also teaches multimedia journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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