Arizona’s number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise as health officials work to expand testing.
Arizona now has 44 cases of coronavirus, according to the state health department’s latest update.
There are 22 cases in Maricopa County, 10 in Pinal, seven in Pima, three in Navajo, and one each in Coconino and Graham Counties. Twenty-six of those positive results came from the state’s Public Health Laboratory, while 18 came from commercial labs.
The state lab has now tested 330 people, with 130 of those pending and 175 ruled negative.
However, it’s unclear as to how many people total have been tested in the state. That’s because commercial labs only report confirmed cases, not the number of people they have tested.
Groups across Arizona have been working to expand the state’s testing capacity. Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute is hoping to open a drive-thru testing site this week. Local officials and healthcare providers have also opened drive-thru sites in Flagstaff, with plans to open others in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Mayo Clinic is offering drive-thru testing in Phoenix and Scottsdale, but it is only for the clinic’s patients who have a doctor’s order.
However, strict eligibility requirements remain in place. An emergency room doctor with Valleywise Health told KTAR News a patient must either be sick (as in diagnosed with pneumonia, already using a respirator, etc.) or have recently traveled to a country experiencing an outbreak and be showing flu-like symptoms in order to be tested.
“We have to ration the test; it’s not our choice,” the doctor told the radio station. “We’d love to give the test to everyone who wanted it.”