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Pima County moves Paxlovid 'test to treat' program to call-in process
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Pima County moves Paxlovid 'test to treat' program to call-in process

After a brief pause, the Pima County Health Department will extend a free COVID-19 "test-to-treat" program that offers Paxlovid therapy, with some changes.

People who test positive for a COVID-19 infection can get a free prescription for the antiviral pills, if they meet certain eligibility requirements.

Through Sept. 16, the Health Department has started 1,611 people on oral medication through its test to treat program.

The county started the program in June and extended it in July and August, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Other health care providers also offer the "test-to-treat" option, as part of a federal initiative. The county’s program helps ensure that those who don’t have easy access to care, or can’t see their usual health care provider, can get the timely treatment they need during a COVID-19 infection.

The county program ends for a few days on Tuesday. It will resume Sept. 26, with a continuation of the call-in option at 520-724-7895, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Health Department’s East Clinic will no longer provide in-person testing and prescriptions as it has since the program launched June 23 as a 30-day effort in partnership with FEMA. In the past three months, most people used the phone number to seek prescriptions for COVID-19 treatment, rather than going in person, official said.

“The Health Department believes test to treat is an important resource for the community and is happy to continue to use its resources to offer this option, which can help people avoid serious outcomes from COVID-19,” said Health Department Director Theresa Cullen. “And we want to thank FEMA, which has been a valuable partner through the pandemic, helping us provide COVID-19 vaccination, testing and treatment.”

Individuals who already have a positive test (from an at-home test or a testing site) can call 520-724-7895 to determine if they can immediately receive a prescription for the antiviral pills.

People are potentially eligible for oral antiviral treatment after a positive test if:

  • They are 12 or older
  • Weigh at least 88 pounds
  • Have mild to moderate symptoms
  • Have a high risk of severe COVID-19 illness

The Health Department will ask people to provide some general information, like whom to contact in an emergency and when they tested positive for COVID-19.

Paxlovid is effective in reducing the severity of a coronavirus infection when started within five days of the start of symptoms.

For more information go to pima.gov/covid19testing.

For more information on COVID-19 treatment, go to pima.gov/covid19treatment.

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