Nurse Victoria Johnston

Nurse Victoria Johnston puts a swab inside a patient’s nose during the COVID-19 testing in Tolleson on Aug. 8. 

The city of Tolleson is hosting a COVID-19 community testing event from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at Arizona Desert Elementary School’s gymnasium, 8803 W. Van Buren Street, Tolleson. 

Recently, Maricopa County Health Department staff informed city officials of concerns about the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Tolleson. 

The county’s Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine presented the data to the Tolleson City Council and the community during a recent work session. 

“It was critical for me to allow everyone the opportunity to voice their concerns and to get any clarification needed directly from the health experts at the Maricopa County Health Department,” Mayor Anna Tovar said.

Sunenshine said there were 24 COVID-19 cases in May in Tolleson. Cases jumped to 213 in June. In Maricopa County, there were 6,921 COVID-19 cases in May and 54,757 in June. Cases in Tolleson increased 2.4 times faster in the month of June than Maricopa County, making Tolleson a hotspot.

Because Tolleson has been identified as a hotspot, the county is working directly with city official to slow the disease’s spread. 

“Testing and contact tracing are critical components to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Tovar said. “As the mayor of Tolleson, it is incumbent upon me to pursue every avenue to identify resources to contribute to the eradication of this horrible disease.

“We are grateful to Maricopa County, Supervisor Steve Gallardo, Southwellness and the Tolleson Elementary School District for their partnership in this crucial endeavor.”

On Aug. 22, 500 tests will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, preregistration is encouraged by visiting southwellnesscovidtest.com or calling 602-429-0398. The city of Tolleson will hand out free cloth face masks. 

This initiative is supported through funds made available by Maricopa County. Testing results will be made available within two to three days to ensure people are receiving timely results. 

For those affected by COVID-19, the county works with the Tolleson Community Action Program office to provide rental assistance. The office refers clients to Maricopa County for COVID emergency assistance for its heating/cooling repair/replace program, too. For information, call 623-936-2760 from 8 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday.

For detailed guidance about COVID-19, visit cdc.gov.