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Phoenix and Tucson residents who have concerns about COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure can now call a Banner Health hotline and speak with a clinical team member to determine if they need to be tested.

This hotline is tied to Banner's new effort to establish drive-up COVID-19 testing sites in metropolitan areas. Today, three of these sites opened in Phoenix and one opened in Tucson. More are expected to open in the coming weeks.

The location of the testing site is not being advertised because it's currently available on an appointment-only basis. Banner wants to screen people through their hotline before having them show up for testing. If someone come to the site and requests a test without being screened first, they will be turned away.

Banner announced the details of their new testing process in a press release:

During a patient’s drive-through 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.

The Banner hotline 1-844-549-1851 will be staffed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Visit their website for more information.

As of today's Arizona Department of Health Services report, 24 people in Pima County have tested positive for COVID-19. In Arizona, a total of 234 people have tested positive, 6 cases are still pending in the state's lab and 309 have been ruled out in the state's lab. Statewide numbers updated here.

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