MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - During the summer peak of COVID-19 cases, the City of Mesa was paying close attention to the numbers Maricopa County was putting out.
“We started noticing a pattern where, relative for Mesa, there were some areas where we were seeing a higher frequency of positive COVID tests,” City Manager Chris Brady said.
As Mesa Public Schools made its plans to begin hybrid learning, Brady asked superintendent Andi Fourlis how the city could help. They decided to open up one elementary school each Saturday for the next 5 weeks and offer free COVID-19 testing and flu shots in the relative hot spots.
“Families struggle sometimes to go to places like Mesa Community College or other testing sites in the valley, but they can walk to an elementary school,” MPS partnership coordinator Michele Grimaldi said.
The first first testing site will be at Longfellow Elementary (345 S Hall) on Saturday the 19th. The schedule continues as follows:
- September 26 - Lincoln Elementary, 930 S. Sirrine
- October 3 - Washington Elementary, 2260 W. Isabella Ave.
- October 10 - Hughes Elementary, 630 N. Hunt Drive
- Oct. 17 - Webster Elementary, 202 N. Sycamore St.
Testing each week is from 9 a.m. to noon. Families can also pick up free masks and hand sanitizer with their tests and shots.
Because there’s still CARES Act money available, it won’t cost the city much. They’ll be doing about 400 COVID tests each week and the Fire Department will be there to help give flu shots. If the turnout is good, Brady says the city will add other free testing opportunities.
“As we move around to these 5 different zip codes, we’re trying to go into each zip code and allow the people that live in those areas, make it very convenient for them,” he said.
You don’t need an appointment, and regardless of where you live in Mesa, they won’t turn you away. Test results will come back within 48 hours.
“The healthier we are as a community, the better the schools run, the better the city runs, the better we all are,” Grimaldi said.