Approximately 400 people took advantage of a drive-through COVID-19 testing event in Fountain Hills on Saturday, July 25.

Sonora Quest Labs was the testing partner for the event and was prepared to test up to 1,000 people. After an initial line-up of a couple of dozen vehicles when the testing opened at 6 a.m., there was little to no wait by 8 a.m.

“We are grateful that many Fountain Hills residents had the chance to access the test in a convenient and smooth process,” Mayor Ginny Dickey said. “We had several partners in this effort since my initial contact with the Governor’s and County Supervisor Chucri’s offices in late June. Through advice from them and Sen. Sinema’s office, we ultimately contracted with Sonora Quest Labs.

“Logistics about the event, who was funding and administering the tests, traffic, equipment needed, etc., was a team project with them, our own staff, MCSO and 15 (local) volunteers. Even those labs, educational and other groups that weren’t able to participate this time were responsive and positive to my inquiries.”

Dickey said she had suggested postponing the event after hearing about delays in returning the testing results. Sonora Quest has a backlog it does not expect to clear until the end of August.

“However, with the AZ Dept. of Health Services working with Sonora Quest to expand the capabilities of diagnostic testing, I was informed they expected to improve reporting to about five days, with vastly increased testing in the next two months,” Dickey said.

Sonora Quest indicates it will be able to expand the processing of tests to 60,000 per day. Those tested Saturday were told results would be available in five to seven days.