Pima County to distribute free COVID-19 tests at 12 new locations

At-home COVID-19 tests have been an essential public health tool throughout the pandemic, but on Friday the federal government stopped sending the free kits.

Local governments seek to fill the void by providing this essential public health tool. This includes Pima County, which has identified 12 locations to distribute free home tests. The effort is funded by a federal grant aimed at addressing demographic disparities in public health.

Eddie Diaz, health disparities program manager for the Pima County Health Department, says the expansion is about meeting communities where they are.

“The idea of ​​expanding our free testing program is that people can kind of do a self-assessment and learn to determine their own risk,” Diaz said.

Anyone can go to one of the libraries handing out tests and request one, no questions asked, he said.

“So I think while we learn to navigate COVID-19, since it will probably stay, it will not go away – hopefully it will normalize on how we view mitigation efforts as daily practices,” Diaz says. “It will just help eliminate the risks.”

Diaz said the best times to consider administering rapid tests are three to five days after exposure to COVID-19 or the first sign of symptoms.

The full list of pickup locations is available at pima.gov/covid19testing.

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