MARIN COUNTY, CA – Free oral swab COVID-19 tests are coming to Marin County. Five rotating locations will offer coronavirus testing by online appointment for anybody, whether insured or not, as early as Monday.
Marin has partnered with Curative, which offers a COVID-19 test that has a higher clinical sensitivity than nasal cavity swab tests, according to the county. The test is self-collected, and results are returned within 48 hours by email or text. To date, Curative has distributed more than 5 million test results nationwide and is processing about 70,000 test kits per day.
Local test collection locations will rotate around Marin, and online appointments via the Curative website will be available beginning four days before opening day at each location.
This is the schedule:
Mondays, starting Dec. 21: Bolinas Fire Station, 100 Mesa Road, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; San Geronimo Valley Community Center, 6350 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, 2-4 p.m.
Tuesdays, starting Dec. 22: United Market, 100 Red Hill Ave., San Anselmo, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesdays, starting Jan. 5: Sausalito City Hall, 420 Litho St., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursdays, starting Jan. 6: Piper Park, 250 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fridays, starting Jan. 7: Novato Library, 1720 Novato Boulevard, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Curative was founded to develop sepsis tests in January 2020 and pivoted to COVID-19 in early March 2020, addressing the urgent need for test development and production.
Curative's test involves having a person cough first, releasing the aerosols from the upper and lower respiratory tracts. The patient swabs saliva from the inside of the cheek and the roof of the mouth, then seals the swab in a secure container and returns it to a medical professional to be sent to a lab. The test is done without the test recipient coming into close contact with others, eliminating the need for frequent personal protective equipment changes.
Since testing began for COVID-19 last winter, 228,590 tests have been recorded in Marin County — which includes multiple tests by a single person — and 6,561 have come back positive.
In addition to the new Curative testing locations, residents can access testing through offices of health care providers, dedicated test sites, and Food and Drug Administration-approved home testing kits. (View an updated list of local testing locations on the Marin County Public Health website.)
Anyone seeking a COVID-19 test should first contact a health care provider. Most providers now offer testing for their patients and are required to do so under California public health regulations.
The Public Health Division of Marin County Department of Health and Human Services offered the following considerations for who should get tested:
Those who have symptoms of COVID-19.
Those who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
Essential workers who have regular contact with the public should be tested up to monthly whether or not they have symptoms.