Dec. 30—STOCKTON — San Joaquin County Public Health Services is encouraging residents to test for COVID-19 as the year comes to an end, whether they are experiencing symptoms or not.
The county's recommendation comes as health officials anticipate another surge of the virus to start 2023 following large gatherings celebrating the holidays and New Year.
"We are happy to offer the convenience of getting tested and treated in one location
and we're thankful that members of our community will benefit from medication that can
decrease their risk of hospitalization or death," Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County Public Health Officer, said in a media statement Thursday.
The county has six "Test to Treat" sites that provide easy access for people to get tested for COVID-19, consult with a health care provider, and, if deemed appropriate, receive the prescription-only anti-viral pills in one visit.
Two those sites are easily accessible to Lodi residents: the Lodi Community Services Center at 415 S. Sacramento St., and San Joaquin Delta College.
The Lodi Community Services Center is open Wednesdays and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Delta College's center, located at 5151 Pacific Avenue, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
County health officials said anti-viral treatments, such as the commonly prescribed Paxlovid, have been effective in lessening COVID-19 related symptoms and reducing the likelihood of being hospitalized or dying from the virus.
According to California Department of Public Health, people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 include adults older than 50, with risk increasing with age; people who are unvaccinated; and people with certain medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, or a weakened immune system.
In addition, CDPH recommends staying up to date on COVID-19 and influenza vaccines and receiving the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster dose to stave off currently dominant subvariants of Omicron.
The recommendation to get tested comes as San Joaquin County's COVID-19 cases total 205,620 since the pandemic began in 2020, along with 2,354 related deaths.
According to the county's COVID-19 dashboard, its case rate is 15.6 per 100,000 residents, and its test positivity rate is 9.5.
The county's seven hospitals were reporting 39 confirmed patients being treated for COVID-19.
For more information about COVID-19 treatments , visit https://covid19.ca.gov/treatment.