Arizona ranks last in the nation for coronavirus testing. How is that acceptable?

Opinion: Arizona has tested fewer people per capita for coronavirus than any other state, according to a New York Times analysis. That’s outrageous.

By Elvia Díaz | Arizona Republic 

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)

 
A look inside at the Arizona Department of Health Services lab as they test for COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. /Arizona Republic

Arizona has tested fewer people for coronavirus per capita than anywhere else in the nation. How is that possible? How is that acceptable?

The New York Times is ranking Arizona last of the nation’s 50 states in number of tests conducted per capita.

The chart shows Arizona has tested 957 people and reported 577 confirmed cases of coronavirus – or 665 cases according to the state’s March 27 count.

Arizona Department of Health Services disputed the ranking, saying in a tweet that “more than 10,000 tests have been conducted & counted through private sector labs.”

There are a range of factors that may skew the numbers, The Times reported, most notably that doctors, labs and government aren’t necessarily releasing all the data. 

But Arizona’s defense isn’t convincing. Yes, there is a huge shortage of test kits across the nation, but how is the state dealing with it?

Stop testing.

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