Phoenix approves funds for at-home tests, expanded vaccine service to fight rising COVID-19 cases
With COVID-19 cases rising, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved $4.9 million in federal funds to expand vaccine and testing programs and provide residents with at-home tests.
Mayor Kate Gallego opened Wednesday’s council meeting with a solemn announcement: “Since we last convened, we’ve lost three Phoenix employees to the coronavirus. I want to send my condolences, as does the council to their friends and families and the entire city of Phoenix family is grieving. This virus is cruel and unforgiving and causing a lot of pain.”
Phoenix plans to spend $1.4 million for at-home tests. City Manager Jeff Barton expects to present a plan next week.
“But we do have some conceptual ideas, one of which is using, again, using our clinical partners that have been on the front lines with us, distributing through them at the different events we have. We’ve also been talking about using our city resources, in terms of community centers, parks, as well as our libraries to distribute,” he said. “The county’s had a very successful program through their library where folks can come and their curbside service, they’re actually bringing out testing kits to every person that’s in a car — two kits per car.”
The city will also spend $3.5 million to increase testing and vaccine services offered through two mobile vans. Phoenix says close to 10,000 vaccinations and more than 184,000 tests have been administered through mobile events.
Testing and vaccine events can be found on the city’s website. Phoenix uses federal funds to partner with Vincere Cancer Center and Premier Lab Solutions and others to provide vaccines and testing with no out-of-pocket costs.