With the local produce sector ramping up for the busy winter season, Nogales-area importers are getting help from the Mariposa Community Health Center and other partners to offer free COVID-19 testing to produce industry workers.

In a news release, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas said employees in the sector are “strongly encouraged” to receive a free test from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 10, 12 or 13 at the Desert Shadows Middle School gym at 340 Boulevard Del Rey David in Nogales.

The testing will be coordinated by MCHC and Arizona State University, and will involve minimally invasive saliva tests. These are so-called PCR tests that detect active COVID-19 infections.

The organizers say the testing process will take less than 10 minutes to complete, and results are expected within 48 hours. The program can perform 500 to 600 tests per day, they said.

Advance registration is strongly encouraged. To do so, go to this page and  create an account using the agency code SALIVATEST. Then, once you’re logged into the portal, click on “Appointments” to request an available appointment time.

Walk-ins are also available.

“Mariposa Community Health Centers is taking a proactive approach, along with Santa Cruz County Health Department, to give Nogales a leg up as we head into the season,” said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the FPAA. “We have to be smart. Getting tested at the start of the season is the best smart step.”

The produce pre-season COVID testing blitz is made available free to the public through a grant from the State of Arizona.

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