SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County on Monday launched new and expanded COVID-19 testing at six sites across the county, focusing on areas which have shown a higher rate of recent coronavirus cases compared to other nearby areas.
The free testing is available for all county residents whether or not symptoms are present, and essential workers with regular interaction with the public were urged to get tested now and once a month going forward. Testing can identify the infection before a person feels symptoms or before they spread it to another person.
“The County is bringing testing capacity to where it’s needed,” said Cindy Chavez, President of the Board of Supervisors in a prepared statement. “Please take advantage of this opportunity to get tested in your neighborhood: it’s fast, free and you don’t need insurance.”
Two pop-up testing sites were opening in Mountain View and San Jose. The Mountain View is site at the Rengstorff Park pool area at 201 S. Rengstorff Ave. and is open Monday, May 25 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Wednesday, May 27 between 9 a.m. and 1 p..m.
“We are pleased to be working with the county to bring testing to one our areas of highest need in Mountain View,” said a statement from Mountain View Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga. “We need everyone – including cities, the county, and private healthcare and labs – to do their part to help us get through this crisis.”
A second pop-up testing site will be set up in East San Jose at the La Placita Tropicana shopping center parking lot at 1630 Story Road. The testing site would be open on Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.-
The pop-up sites is for walkup testing and are available without an appointment. Neither insurance nor a doctor’s note is required.
The county is also offering drive-through testing at four existing testing sites in San Jose, Milpitas and Morgan Hill. The testing is available seven days a week and appointments are required. People can sign up for a slot at sccfreetest.org or by calling 888-334-1000.
The locations are:
• 1325 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035 (location subject to change)
• 18550 De Paul Dr., Morgan Hill, CA 95037
• 777 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95112
• 1993 McKee Road, San Jose, CA 95116
Resident Jackelyne Guzman-Ordaz waited in the long line that snaked around the mobile testing site in Mountain View Monday afternoon. She says she was willing to endure the wait for the sake of her family’s health.
“Even though we don’t have the symptoms of COVID-19, we thought it was still important to get tested,” said Guzman-Ordaz. “We’ve taken every precaution possible. So, I doubt we have it. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Santa Clara County’s Testing Officer Dr. Marty Fenstershieb admitted that the rollout of expanded testing had been rocky with computer glitches that made it virtually impossible for some members of the public to sign up for test appointments online.
“Are there going to be some problems and glitches? Yes. But a lot of people are working everyday trying to get that ironed out,” Dr. Fenstershieb said. “We don’t want there to be barriers and problems. Because if we tell you to go get tested, it should be easy to do that.”
The popup sites which don’t require an appointment are first come, first served, resulting in long wait times on Monday.
“I don’t mind at all. I think it’s well worth it,” says Laurie Bright who waited more than an hour.
With the addition of these six sites, the county says there are now at least 46 sites throughout the county offering COVID-19 viral detection testing. The new and expanded testing sites as well as sites operated by other organizations are mapped on the county’s website at sccfreetest.org.