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Hundreds tested for coronavirus in Phoenix Saturday; some say testing was hard to find

Teams tested around 1,000 people for the coronavirus at one Phoenix location starting around 5 a.m. on Saturday.

PHOENIX — Hundreds of Arizonans waited in their vehicles on Saturday in Maryvale for a coronavirus test. And for some of them, they say it's been difficult to find a test in the Valley. 

The teams started testing at about 5 a.m. near 67th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard. A few people even waited in their vehicles overnight.

Whether it’s to return to work, to protect their families or something else, people like Carlos Lopez made an appointment to be tested.

“I came out here to get tested to make sure I’m safe because I’m a truck driver, so I’m going to be going back on the road pretty soon," Lopez said.

Equality Health’s Tomas Leon says Saturday's test drive at Encanto and 67th Avenue quickly filled up, drawing in more than 1,000 appointments.

“The demand, the concern is huge in this area of Maryvale," Leon said.

The City of Phoenix, Sonora Quest Laboratories and the Arizona Department of Health Services teamed with Equality Health to test for COVID-19, Leon said. 

Some, like Angel Para, say they had a hard time finding a test. 

“It took a long time," Para said. "I’ve been waiting for a better part of two weeks.”

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“It’s hard to get a test," Leon said. "And now what we’re seeing and hearing more is people need a test to go back to work or someone at work has exposed others."

Leon says last week’s testing event in Maryvale revealed dozens of positive coronavirus results.

"Processed nearly 700 test results of the nearly 1,000 that we had tested last weekend and about 24% of those individuals tested positive," Leon said. He adds that they’re still processing the rest of the tests. 

Leon says he's concerned for this community, with a lot of essential workers who can’t afford to stay home.

“We’re providing education information materials today in English and Spanish, the testing that needs to be done," he said. "We’re giving out masks.”

The next testing event that will be put on by this group is expected to be on July 11. Details to come. For more information click here

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