The first Walgreens drive-thru coronavirus test site in metro Phoenix was launched Friday in the West Valley.
The site is located in El Mirage, on the southeast corner of Dysart and Greenway roads.
Testing is set up in the parking lot outside a previously shuttered store.
“That Walgreens location is closed permanently, which actually helps this situation,” El Mirage Mayor Alexis Hermosillo said. “There won’t be anybody shopping inside the store, so that would limit exposure for anybody who will be on site taking the test.”
To utilize the testing, area patients must first be approved through online screening and then schedule an appointment.
When screened patients show up for their appointments, they will stay in their vehicles and self-administer the sample collection under the oversight of pharmacists.
The ID NOW COVID-19 system will be used to process the tests and return results within 24 hours.
The El Mirage location is one of nine drive-thru test sites Walgreens has activated across five states. Arizona has two, with the other being in Tucson at Broadway Boulevard and Houghten Road.
Walgreens’ first drive-thru testing site was unveiled in the Chicago area on March 21.
The company, which worked with federal authorities to determine the best locations for the drive-thru testing, plans to open six more sites nationwide by the end of April.
As of Friday morning, 4,507 Arizonans had tested positive for COVID-19, with 169 deaths, and 49,230 tests had been given in the state.
Testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, remains limited because of a national and local supply shortage. Health officials have prioritized at-risk populations, people showing serious symptoms and health care workers for getting tested. In most cases, a positive diagnosis won’t change a patient’s treatment plan.
The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Click here to learn more about Walgreens’ COVID-19 testing sites.