Banner Health

Banner Health has several drive-thru COVID-19 test sites, including one in Peoria.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise sharply in Peoria.

On April 12, the Arizona Department of Health Services released a COVID-19 ZIP code map showing Peoria 85382 with 61 positive cases. 

Nine days later, Peoria 85382 had 102 positive COVID-19 cases—third most of any Arizona ZIP code. The striking 62% rise gave 98532 one less positive test than Mesa 85206 and two less than Tucson 85714. 

The state map includes a disclaimer: “If the patient’s address was unknown the case was mapped to the address of the provider followed by the address of the reporting facility.”

For that reason, Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat challenged the accuracy of this data.

“Unfortunately, this data appears imperfect, as noted by the AZDHS website,” Carlat said. “Due to this discrepancy, I’ve pressed the governor’s office to provide more accurate data.” Carlat had not received a response as of April 21.

“The number of cases doesn’t really tell us much,” Peoria resident Jay Griffin said. “Data is just data to me at this point.”

Another Peoria ZIP code, 85383, just north of 85382, had 19 COVID-19 positive tests April 12. The number there rose to 31 nine days later.

Banner Health collected 1,000 samples for COVID-19 testing at its Peoria drive-thru site as of April 17, according to Rebecca Armendariz, Banner Health senior marketing director.

Other medical centers in or near the 85382 ZIP code providing testing include Summa Health Care and MedPost Urgent Care.

There had been 49,230 tests conducted in Arizona as of April 18. Of these tests, 30,344 had been conducted in Maricopa County, which is almost 62% of testing in Arizona.

Due to limited number of tests, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided guidelines for helping people decide if they need to be tested. The CDC recommended that people get tested if they are experiencing extreme symptoms, including high fever, difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pneumonia.

Those unsure about getting tested should call their primary care physicians or  the Maricopa County COVID-19 hotline at 1-844-542-8201.

If it is necessary to seek medical attention, patients should call  the medical center they are planning to go to so the workers can prepare to reduce the spread of symptoms.

To be tested at Banner Health drive-thru sites, patients with symptoms should call 1-844-549-1851 for a phone consultation.

According to bannerhealth.com, walk-in tests are not permitted.

“By scheduling in advance, we can avoid extended wait times at the collection sites and can safely get people in and out of those sites as quickly as possible,” Armendariz said.

Although Banner Health is encouraging anyone with symptoms to be tested, they also have a list of priority-level patients for testing.

These include high-risk workers such as health care workers and first responders, critical infrastructure workers such as water and power, and people in congregate living situations such as nursing homes.

According to a map of cases by ZIP code, many areas in the West Valley have more than 10 cases.

Glendale ZIP codes and other ZIP codes near 85382 have between six and 38 positive cases, according to the map.

The 85382 population, according to citydata.com and towncharts.org, is around 40,000, or about .8% of Maricopa County’s population of 4.5 million.

Yet, the 102 positive tests in 85382 represented 4% of the 2,719 positive tests in the county. (Many who test positive experience mild symptoms.)

Though testing shows more cases every day, the rate of growth of positive tests has slowed since Gov. Doug Ducey’s March 30 stay-home order.

“I just want people to stay home, practice good hygiene and work together to get through this as fast as we can,” said Jessika Jaye, a Peoria resident.