As Third Testing Blitz Weekend Begins, Arizona Still Lags Behind Other States

Published: Friday, May 15, 2020 - 2:10pm
Updated: Friday, May 15, 2020 - 4:33pm
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Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order expires Friday. His decisions about reopening have been based on statewide COVID-19 testing data. But the state has fallen short of some of its own testing goals, and Arizona remains among the states with the lowest percentage of the population tested.

More than 70 providers statewide are offering COVID-19 tests Saturday for this third weekend of Arizona’s Testing Blitz. The goal was to perform 10,000 to 20,000 tests per day on three consecutive Saturdays. The state is adding an additional two weekends after this. 

But, as of Friday, state data showed not even 6,000 were tested the first blitz day, May 2. The following Saturday, May 9, the state came in on the low end of its goal with just over 10,000 tested, according to state data as of Friday.

But Department of Health Services director Cara Christ said the blitz has been a success because the weekly average of tests performed has risen since the launch of the initiative.

“We were very pleased with the significant increase of tests throughout the week," Christ said.

As of Friday, a smaller share of Arizona's population has been tested than almost any other state, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Only Maine and Puerto Rico rank lower. The U.S. average is 31.5 tests per 1,000 people. Arizona has tested 18.5 of every 1,000 people. 

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