Test Blitz

An Arizona National Guard medical professional prepares to apply a nasal swab during a county-sponsored COVID-19 testing blitz in Nogales on July 25.

The Santa Cruz County Health Services Department is offering free COVID-19 testing by appointment only in Rio Rico.

The PCR nasal-swab testing is done at the county building at 275 Rio Rico Dr. from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Appointments can be made by calling (520) 604-9321 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Forms are available online at www.santacruzcountyaz.gov/732/COVID-19-Novel-Coronavirus, and participants are asked to download, complete and bring them to their appointment. Otherwise, arrive 15 minutes early to complete the necessary documentation.

Everyone is eligible for the testing, and participants are asked to bring a government ID to their appointment.

According to state data, more than 11,400 residents of Santa Cruz County had been tested for COVID-19 as of Monday morning – nearly one-quarter of the population. Of those, 10,327 were given the PCR test for active infections and 1,120 took the serology test for antibodies that shows past exposure.

Of the PCR tests, 21.8 percent have come back positive – the highest rate in the state by more than 5 percentage points. Even so, that figure has been steadily declining from a high of around 29 percent in July.

On Sunday, for example, the state reported receiving results on 95 new PCR tests for people in Santa Cruz County, with only one of those tests coming back positive. On Monday, the state reported 63 new tests, with five returning positive results.

In all, 2,756 local residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to data posted Monday by the County Health Services Department. That was an increase of 13 cases during the previous week.

The number of local COVID-related deaths was 57 as of Monday, an increase of two during the previous week. Hospitalizations were at 211, as compared to 210 a week earlier.

Statewide in Arizona, where coronavirus-related data has been trending in the right direction as well, there were 174 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday, but no new deaths.

The total number of confirmed cases in the state since the start of the pandemic was 201,835 and the death toll stood at 5,029, according to the state Department of Health Services.

In Nogales, Sonora, there had been 2,409 confirmed cases and 245 deaths as of Sunday evening, according to the state health secretary. Those numbers were up from 2,339 cases and 241 deaths a week earlier.

The situation in Sonora has improved enough that the government downgraded the state’s coronavirus risk from high to medium, which allows more businesses and public spaces to reopen at reduced capacity, according to a report Sunday from the KJZZ Fronteras Desk.

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