The county is planning to rent additional space in Payson for COVID testing.

The Gila County Health and Emergency Management Department just opened a new office at 110 W. Main St., but needs additional space.

At the March 16 meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors, director of the county health department, Michael O’Driscoll, asked for approval of a lease agreement between Azital Three, LLC and the Gila County Health Department for office space at 600 N. Beeline Highway to be used as a COVID-19 testing site and office space for health department contact tracing staff.

The lease is $2,500 per month plus tax and is from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. The space is approximately 1,970 square feet.

O’Driscoll said the funding for the lease comes from the $1.6 million Expanded Laboratory Capacity grant awarded to Gila County in April 2020 to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities throughout the county.

“This facility will allow the Gila County Health Department to continue to provide services to the northern Gila County region for COVID-19 contact tracing investigations and, in addition, a testing site that will be operated by the county,” O’Driscoll said.

He added that while the lease before the board was for a year, there is a possibility it could be extended. He said approximately $800,000 more is coming to the county later this year for COVID-19 matters handled by his department.

The board approved the lease.

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