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Wind, rain will close COVID-19 testing at Pima Community College

Wind and rain predicted for Wednesday will force Pima County officials to close the COVID-19 testing site at Pima Community College's West Campus for the day.

The drive-through site will be closed Wednesday over concerns about the stability of tables, chairs, tents, barricades, cones and other equipment, as well as the wind potentially causing contamination of testing specimens due to dust particles, Pima County officials said.

The National Weather Service issued a freeze warning for Wednesday night into Thursday morning across much of central and western Pima County.

The testing site will also open later on Thursday and Friday due to expected freezing temperatures. The site will begin offering appointments from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on those days, and will return to normal operations on Saturday, Feb. 5, officials said.

The testing vendor, eTrueNorth, will notify individuals and reschedule appointments as necessary.

The site—at 2202 W. Anklam Rd.—began testing people during a "soft launch" on Jan. 22 and has tested 3,629 people for COVID-19. The site usually runs Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is the second time that inclement weather has forced the FEMA-operated site to close. On Friday, high-winds forced officials to shutter the drive-through site for the day.

Tests are free and available to everyone, county officials said, however, they strongly recommend people pre-register for tests, though they said that people can register on the day of testing as long as appointments are available.

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The drive-through site is part of a larger effort to expand COVID-19 testing throughout Pima County as cases have spiked nationwide fueled by the Omicron variant. In Pima County, indoor testing sites will remain open on Wednesday, including one at the Kino Event Center at 2805 E. Ajo Way. That site opened last week, and people can seek tests from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Thousands have been tested for COVID-19 at a site operated by FEMA at Pima Community College's West Campus.