Spanish Interpreters Help Ensure Language Is No Barrier To Testing

Since July 2020, A Foreign Language Service – AFLS has been supporting Arizona State University (ASU) by providing increased Covid-19 testing resources to Arizona’s hardest hit populations. To help ensure language will not be a barrier for individuals in need of testing, AFLS provides Spanish language interpreters at sites across the state for these new, rapid saliva-based diagnostic tests developed by ASU. These tests have been rolled out to testing sites in the hardest hit areas around Arizona. AFLS first began to provide interpreters in early July at the Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix for the first round of the new, rapid saliva-based diagnostic tests. Those who are interested in receiving the test may schedule an appointment online with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

ASU launched this new rapid testing program to help provide free saliva-based diagnostic testing for up to 100,000 Arizonians. ADHS and ASU announced their new partnership on Thursday, July 9, 2020, in an effort to increase coronavirus testing throughout Arizona. Health care providers are offering testing at nearly 300 testing locations statewide. To help reach high-need and underserved communities around the state, ASU will be launching several new testing sites that offer this free, rapid saliva diagnostic testing for Covid-19.

In May, ASU’s Biodesign Institute announced the development of the first saliva-based COVID-19 test in the state.  The Institute first used the saliva-based testing to test members of Arizona’s critical workforce, including health care workers, first responders, and infrastructure personnel. ASU has also used the saliva-based test to assess its own community, including students and employees. ASU President Michael M. Crow praised the work of the Institute and declared that “it is our duty to share that expertise and put it to work to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

ADHS has committed more than $12 million, through its partnership with ASU, to help fund the expansion of testing sites for underserved populations throughout the state. This new partnership will help to further increase the number of people who are able to receive a diagnostic COVID-19 test. ASU is collaborating with ADHS on details related to new future testing sites in underserved areas. ADHS encourages those who want to be tested to follow the instructions given online by ADHS, as most testing sites require individuals to pre-register for testing and may have other requirements for receiving a test.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey praised the ADHS and ASU collaboration, saying that “This critical partnership will have an immediate impact in the fight against COVID-19 and help us surge testing where it’s needed most. My thanks to Arizona State University for their continued partnership and for continuing to step up to aid public health in innovative and invaluable ways.” Arizonians can follow guidelines recommended by the CDC and the ADHS to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These precautions include staying home when sick, wearing a mask in public, and physically distancing by at least 6 feet in public.

For more information about this new rapid saliva-based diagnostic test, see the ASUNOW article announcing the test as well as the ADHS and ASU partnership. Learn more about ASU’s Biodesign Institute, which developed the test, and find out about Arizona’s response to the pandemic online with ADHS. AFLS is committed to supporting pandemic efforts both throughout Arizona as well as across the United States. Catch up with us on our social sites and on our website to learn more about our response to COVID-19.