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Friday, July 30, 2021 | Category: Press Releases
PHOENIX (July 30, 2021) -- Sonora Quest Laboratories/Laboratory Sciences of Arizona, Arizona’s leading diagnostic laboratory system, has announced that employees who have direct patient interactions or regularly work at a Banner Health facility are required to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021. This follows Banner Health’s similar announcement last week.
Leading science and health experts are encouraging employers to include the COVID-19 vaccination as part of their regular vaccine requirements. Employees required to receive the vaccination may qualify for an approved exemption, which is similar to Sonora Quest’s current vaccination and immunization policies.
“Our priority has always been and will always be evidence-based science and the health of our patients and team members,” said Dave Dexter, President and CEO of Sonora Quest Laboratories/Laboratory Sciences of Arizona. “The evidence shows vaccinations are the best way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.”
This vaccination requirement and continued adherence to masking guidelines comes at a time when Arizona is seeing an increase in the highly infectious Delta variant. During the week of July 18, Sonora Quest ran more than 33,000 COVID-19 PCR tests—a 25 percent increase from the prior week—with a 15% positivity rate.
Sonora Quest has seen the impact of COVID-19 firsthand as it has processed nearly 3 million diagnostic tests since the pandemic began. As more information about the virus becomes available, Sonora Quest will continually evaluate its safety procedures including masking and physical distancing. Masks will continue to be required for employees and patients in all Sonora Quest facilities for the foreseeable future, which coincides with recently released CDC guidelines.
Sonora Quest will continue offering its employees paid work hours for their vaccination appointments (for non-exempt), mileage reimbursement and points toward its wellness program. Sonora Quest is developing new program incentives to encourage its employees to get vaccinated.
About Sonora Quest Laboratories
Sonora Quest Laboratories, a joint venture between Banner Health and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), is part of the nation’s largest integrated laboratory system with approximately 3,500 employees serving more than 28,000 patients every day throughout Arizona. Sonora Quest Laboratories is the market share leader in clinical laboratory testing in Arizona, performing more than 85 million diagnostic tests per year. Sonora Quest Laboratories offers a local comprehensive test menu which encompasses routine, molecular, prescription drug monitoring, genetic/genomic, women’s health and pathology testing services. My Lab ReQuest™ provides consumers direct access to a diverse range of affordable screening tests that can be ordered online at SonoraQuest.com or in any of Sonora Quest’s 75 patient service centers across Arizona. Ninety-five percent of all testing is performed at the primary testing facilities located in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma. Sonora Quest Laboratories is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), which is the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, helping laboratories to maintain accuracy of test results and ensure accurate patient diagnosis. This accreditation ensures the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients as CAP inspectors examine laboratory operations.