PHOENIX — Banner Health opened several coronavirus testing sites in Arizona on Monday as the state grapples with dozens of cases.
The Arizona-based provider announced that three drive-up sites in metro Phoenix and one in Tucson were up and running. More are in the works, including in Pinal County.
People who believe they made need testing must first call a hotline 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.
If an individual meets CDC criteria for testing, they will be scheduled for an appointment at one of Banner’s new drive-thru sites.
During a patient’s drive-thru appointment, they will be asked to remain inside their vehicle. The patient will receive paperwork to complete. This includes a confirmation stating they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they agree to be tested and will self-isolate until Banner contacts them with their test results. After completing the paperwork, a Banner team member will swab inside their nose to collect a sample. This process takes 5-20 minutes. Once completed, the patient will be instructed to return home and isolate until they are contacted with their test results. Samples will be sent to Sonora Quest Laboratories for processing. Results will take roughly 3-5 days to return.
If test results are negative, the patient will be informed they can return to their normal daily routine if they are asymptomatic. It is recommended that they remain at home if they are still sick. While they may have tested negative for COVID-19, it is possible they have another illness that could spread to others. These patients are advised to manage symptoms at home and contact their primary care provider if they have any questions or concerns.
If the results are positive, Banner will notify the county and state health departments and provide the patient with next steps, which could include an additional quarantine period. Abiding by the quarantine period is extremely important to ensure the patient does not spread the virus to others.
A Banner health care provider will determine if someone needs to be tested. This will be done through a phone screening. Individuals cannot request the test and will only be tested if they meet testing criteria.
Banner’s drive-through sites will not accept walk-ins. Everyone must be phone screened in advance and scheduled for an appointment.
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.