Sonoma County will host free Covid stations at six pop-up locations, including St. Leo’s Church, beginning Monday, December 28, with results promised within 72 hours.
The County is partnering with a private company, Curative, to operate the “pain-free” testing stations as follows:
“With the current surge in cases, it is more important than ever to continue testing and providing resources to COVID-19 positive individuals,” said Supervisor Susan Gorin, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “These pop-up testing sites ensure that everyone has an opportunity to get tested, regardless of immigration status or insurance.”
The expanded services will allow the County to increase testing of the entire community, improve efficiencies and, Gorin said, likely quicken turn-around times for testing results.
Test results will be sent to patients by email, text message, or phone within 48 to 72 hours.
Appointments will be open four days before the testing date—not earlier. As part of the scheduling process, residents will be asked to answer a series of questions, including insurance information. If they do not have health insurance, they can still get free testing. Residents also may walk up to the testing site without an appointment.
Improving the ability to identify those who are positive and support isolation and quarantine is a key component to the County’s strategies for slowing the spread of COVID-19, reopening the local economy, and getting students back in school.
Curative is a private testing company that currently operates more than 8,000 testing sites across the nation. It offers FDA-authorized pain-free swabbing that is self-administered. Instead of doing nasal swabs, residents will simply open a swab package, cough deeply three to five times and swab inside each cheek, upper and lower gum, underneath and on top of the tongue, and the roof of the mouth.
This swab is then placed inside a biohazard bag and returned to the Curative worker.
Although Curative will begin administering the testing at the weekly community pop-up sites, the County will continue to provide bilingual and bicultural health care workers at each location to support community members with COVID-19 information and resources.
The current schedule enables Curative to provide up to 900 tests per week to county residents in key census tract neighborhoods.
By partnering with Curative to administer neighborhood pop-up testing, the County is able to expand testing opportunities with federally-qualified health care centers, particularly neighborhoods in the lowest quartile of health outcomes. These residents are most at risk of serious consequences due to COVID-19.
More than 348,000 tests have been performed in the County since the beginning of the pandemic. Although the state requires counties to test at least 750 people per day, the County now oversees more than double that number, with an average of 1,600 tests per day.
Residents must wear a face covering and practice social distancing at all Sonoma County’s testing sites. Visit socoemergency.org/test to find out more about COVID-19 testing options. Residents can also call 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 898-211 for resource information. For additional updates, follow Sonoma County on Facebook and Twitter at @CountyOfSonoma.