PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As the number of coronavirus cases in Arizona continues to rise, the demand for testing is also increasing.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the state saw a nearly 250% increase in the number of PCR coronavirus tests performed in June as compared to April. PCR stands for polymerize chain reaction, and these tests are the most common form of coronavirus test, usually performed with a nose swab.
In April, 53,842 PCR coronavirus tests were performed in Arizona, and around 188,000 PCR tests have been performed in June. The state is still working to increase capacity even further.
On Tuesday, the state provided Sonora Quest Laboratories with an additional machine to process tests, and over the weekend, they also gave the lab 10,000 additional specimen collection kits to keep up with increased demand.
That demand was on full display Saturday during a free drive-up COVID-19 testing event in Maryvale. Equality Health says they were prepared to test around 500 people, but around 1,100 showed up. People waited in their cars for hours and the line stretched for miles. There'll be another free testing event this Saturday, but it's already fully booked.
"This is the time for action. It's not a time for finger-pointing and getting into the debate about philosophy and getting into different political opinions," said Tomás León with Equality Health. "The fact is that this is a public health crisis and people's lives are at risk."
This map shows the Arizona CVS stores that offer drive-up COVID-19 testing.
CVS also announced Wednesday that they're opening up 15 more coronavirus testing sites here in Arizona. Those will be added to CVS's 49 existing testing locations in the state.
CVS has also partnered with St. Vincent de Paul to open a coronavirus testing location in Phoenix for the uninsured.