Sunset Health and Yuma Regional Medical Center will continue “blitz” testing for COVID-19 on Saturday.

Sunset Health, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services and Sonora Quest Laboratories, will continue its drive-thru testing on Saturday, May 9, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot of Somerton Sunset Health, 115 N. Somerton Ave.

It will also offer drive-thru testing on Saturday, May 16, from 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of San Luis Sunset Health, 815 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd.

Sunset’s first drive-thru testing was held last Saturday. The organization performed 294 tests and identified 16 new positive cases.

YRMC, which has partnered with the City of Yuma, will conduct its first drive-thru testing on Saturday, May 9, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Yuma Civic Center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Drive. More testing dates will be announced later.

Testing is free and available to individuals who think they may have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19. 

“The test is for everyone, even those without symptoms, until we run out of time or swabs, whichever comes first,” Sunset Health spokesperson Lucy Murrieta previously said, adding that even children of any age can get COVID-19, so testing can be done in any age group.

The polymerase chain reaction test, better known by its acronym “PCR,” will be used, which consists of deep swabbing of the back of the nose or throat, all the way to the mucus membrane.

“It’s not painful, but it’s uncomfortable,” noted Dr. Robert Trenschel, president and CEO of YRMC.

The individual swabs will be sealed and sent to the respective laboratories. Results will be back in about a week, and Sunset Health and YRMC will contact patients with the results.

The YRMC testing will also be available to anybody who wants to get tested. “We’ll only be limited by the number of tests available that day,” Trenschel said.

The hospital is hoping to have “hundreds” of tests on hand with multiple drive-thru lanes.

People getting the test done will be asked general basic questions and will need to sign a consent form. They do not need to bring anything with them.

YRMC will also hand educational material on another type of testing that will soon be available. This type of test will determine if someone has the COVID-19 antibodies, which means that the person has been exposed to the virus.

Sunset Health asks for patience as people wait in their cars for the test. “It will be hot outside. We will try to move as quickly as possible,” Murrieta said.

The testing efforts are in response to Gov. Doug Ducey’s call for statewide blitz testing. “The testing blitz will provide additional information on the prevalence and spread of COVID-19 in our community. Early identification, isolation and contact tracing are a critical part of keeping our community safe,” said Diana Gomez, director of the Yuma County Public Health District.


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