By Aisha Sander
Aug. 4, 2020
National Guard volunteers help administer PCR Swab tests for active COVID-19 infections in Patagonia on July 31, 2020. Photo credit: Robert Gay

Santa Cruz County procured 5000 COVID-19 PCR test kits for the testing blitzes in Nogales, Rio Rico and Patagonia of which close to 2000 were used. The county administered 930 tests in Nogales, 776 tests in Rio Rico and 209 tests in Patagonia. Jeff Terrell, the Director of Environmental Health Services at the county, said that he is pleased with the outcome of the testing blitzes in the county.

Of the results from the first weekend of testing in Nogales the county is finding under 5 % positivity rate, dramatically lower than the average for the county which has hovered close to 28% for all of July. However, the additional tests have not yet been entered in the state’s data dashboard.

Terrell said that they hope to have the test results from Rio Rico and Patagonia by Tuesday and everyone contacted by Wednesday (Aug 5). “Once we look at the final numbers we will choose what to do with the remaining 3000 test kits,” said Terrell. One option is to supplement the current places in the county administering tests. Another option is to conduct another round of blitz testing. Lastly, the county is in discussion with the school superintendent’s office to see if any of these tests can support with the reopening of school, said Terrell. “We are waiting on the metrics from the state,” said Terrell, “and so it may be a possibility to use these test kits for schools.”

Santa Cruz County, AZ Health Dept coordinate testing blitz at Patagonia Public School for residents living in the eastern part of the county. Photo credit: Robert Gay

As of Aug 4 the county reports 2608 cases with 1758 recovered. The state reports 150 hospitalizations and 50 deaths.

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