This week, Banner Health announced that they will implement a new process regarding coronavirus testing.
According to the press release, those with "exposure can now call Banner Health at 1-844-549-1851 to speak with a clinical team member to determine if testing is appropriate. The line will be staffed from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday."
If an individual meets the Center for Disease Control criteria for testing, then they will be scheduled for an appointment at one of the four Banner drive-through sites. Banner has made it clear that they will only see people who have an appointment.
Currently, Arizona has four drive-through sites, with three of them located in Phoenix and one in Tucson. What can you expect to happen at one of these sites?
For starters, you will be asked to stay in your car while a worker in full personal protective equipment will come to your car and perform a test which looks for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a novel strain of a coronavirus.
The current test involves a swab that reaches the back of the throat through the nose. After the test if completed, patients will typically be asked to return back home and self-quarantine until the results come back, which takes roughly three to five days.
If the patient test positive, then "Banner will notify the county and state health departments and provide the patient with next steps, which could include an additional quarantine period," according to the press release. "Abiding by the quarantine period is extremely important to ensure the patient does not spread the virus to others."
Currently, about 8% of the tests are coming back positive nationwide but have been as high as 28% in places like New York, the current epicenter of the pandemic in the country, according to The New York Times.
If nothing is convincing you to stay home, the pain of the current coronavirus test might convince you otherwise.
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