CORONAVIRUS

A medical worker prepares to collect samples from individuals who signed up for "drive-through testing" for the coronavirus at a Penn Medicine site in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Penn, Jefferson and other area hospital systems have set up drive-through stations to swab for samples that can be tested for the coronavirus. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

People who want COVID-19 testing will be able to go to Frogtown, the Calaveras County Fairgrounds outside Angels Camp, starting May 29, health officers for Calaveras County and Tuolumne County said in a joint announcement Friday.

A referral by a doctor is not needed and anyone can be tested, even if they do not have symptoms, the announcement from Dean Kelaita and Liza Ortiz said.

Turnaround time from testing to receiving results is expected to be two days to four days, said Michelle Jachetta with Tuolumne County public health. Appointments will be necessary, Jachetta said.

People with health insurance can be tested and their insurance providers will be billed. Copayments will not be collected at the site. People who do not have insurance can be tested for free.

OptumServe, a federal health services business that is partnering with the State of California, is designated to coordinate testing services with public health staff in both counties.

The testing site at Frogtown will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and OptumServe workers will be able to test up to 102 people a day. People who want to get tested can make appointments online at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or call (888) 634-1123.

Keeping communities safe in both counties depends on public-private partnerships to improve testing and to prepare to respond if there’s a local surge in COVID-19 cases, Kelaita said.

“We are very pleased to have this expanded access to testing available to our residents,” Ortiz said. “Increased access to testing will allow our community to identify cases quickly and stay in containment.”

As of Friday afternoon, Calaveras County health staff counted 13 positive cases of COVID-19 and no fatalities, numbers that have remained unchanged for the past month. Tuolumne County health staff counted two positive cases of COVID-19 and no fatalities. At least one Tuolumne County resident tested positive in April at Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where 100 residents and 52 staff members have tested positive, and 18 residents who previously tested positive for COVID-19 have died.

Statewide there were more than 88,660 cases of COVID-19 in California and 3,609 deaths attributed to COVID-19, according to a Johns Hopkins University coronavirus database.

 

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

 

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