Nearly 800 tested at community COVID event
GCU News Bureau
Almost 800 individuals were tested at Saturday’s free COVID-19 Testing Blitz at Grand Canyon University’s 27th Avenue Business Complex, including nearly 100 walk-ups and about 700 who drove through in 235 vehicles.
The testing event, organized by the R.A.P.I.D. Community-based COVID-19 Response Coalition, was the second community coronavirus testing event on campus, following one at GCU in August.
The group has administered nearly 9,000 COVID-19 tests since May in underserved and vulnerable communities in Arizona, including in GCU’s own neighborhood. Maryvale is one of the five most COVID-exposed zip codes in the state and is where many essential workers live.
Approximately 1,100 of those tests were administered at GCU in those two testing events, said Tomás León, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Equality Health.
The R.A.P.I.D. Coalition isn’t slowing up on testing, even as the first COVID vaccines were administered Monday to health care workers across the country. The alliance is estimating it will test 35,000 individuals by August 2021, based on community need, individual preventative behaviors, virus spread, response to vaccine and demand for testing.
At the same time, the group – a private-public partnership founded by the Equality Health Foundation and Chicanos Por La Causa – is also in discussions about its next step in helping those underserved and vulnerable communities, which is distributing the vaccine as it becomes more widely available.
Saturday’s event (see slideshow below) was brought to GCU, a new coalition partner, not just by the Equality Health Foundation and Chicanos por la Causa, but by the city of Phoenix, the Arizona Department of Health Services, Adelante Healthcare, Sonora Quest Laboratories, the Arizona Latin-American Medical Association and AEL Arizona.
“We’re in this together,” said León of so many organizations, including GCU, that are working together to make sure these communities get access to health care they need.
The next community COVID Testing Blitz is slated for 7 a.m. to noon Saturday at Sueño Park in Maryvale, 4401 W. Encanto Blvd.