Embry Health open for COVID testing over the holidays


Embry Health, which operates approximately 110 COVID-19 testing sites across seven states, including here in the Valley, will be open on both Christmas Day and New Year's Day. 

The Phoenix-based provider  has seen a sharp increase in demand for its free testing services in recent weeks. In the last week alone, Embry saw a 58% increase in the number of people booking appointments at one of their testing sites and is averaging 13,540 appointments daily. On Wednesday, Embry tested 18,432 people - the sixth highest day for testing appointments in the company's history, according to a news release. 

Raymond Embry, CEO of Embry Health, said the higher-than-average COVID case count and number of holiday gatherings as added to the surge in demand.

"We've consistently been able to prove that the easier and more accessible you make testing for the community, the more often they get tested, the more likely they are to go get tested," he said of Embry's robust network. 

That demand is not likely to decreasy any time soon with new COVID-19 variants spreading. Embry plans to open 100 more sites by the end of January.  The company is also available to come to schools, offices and other places for pop-up testing sites. 

Embry said that three types of tests are available at the majority of the testing sites: PCR, rapid antigen and rapid PCR. PCR tests are free and considered the most accurate; rapid tests will often come with a charge.  Embry said that patients are getting their results in under 24 hours, calling longer wait times "completely unacceptable." 

Even with testing so widely available, Embry encouraged people to get vaccinated or boosted if they can and to stay vigilant this holiday season, especially with the flu and respiratory viruses also cropping up in the community. 

"People should still get vaccinated,they should get a booster shot," he said.  "That is going to protect them and significantly decreases the risk of hospitalization or serious illness."

Embry will keep 10 Valley testing sites open on Christmas Day and New Year's Day: 

  • Peoria Sports Complex: 16101 N. 83rd Ave, Peoria 
  • Estrella Mountain Community College: 3000 N. Dysart Rd, Avondale
  • Phoenix College: 3100-3148 N. 11th Ave Parking, Phoenix
  • Metro Center: 9803 N. Metro Pkwy, Phoenix
  • Chaparral Business Center: 8840 E. Chaparral Rd Suite 101, Scottsdale
  • Mesa Community College: 1833 W. Southern Ave, Phoenix
  • Poston Butte High School: 32375 N. Gantzel Rd, San Tan Valley
  • South Price Road: 3350 S. Price Rd, Tempe
  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College: 2626 E. Pecos Rd, Chandler

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