SONOMA COUNTY, CA— A new coronavirus testing site will open Monday in Windsor, moving from Petaluma after nearly six months serving the south county area.
The new site, located at the Town of Windsor Bluebird Community Center, 25 Bluebird Drive, provides increased opportunities for residents in the north county to access COVID-19 testing.
This site, along with a testing site in Santa Rosa, is provided through a state partnership with OptumServe, a leading health services innovation company. In addition to the two OptumServe sites, the county says it has a widespread community pop-up testing program provided within target areas, and contact tracing testing for close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients.
"Sonoma County is grateful for the State’s help to supplement local testing efforts," said Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin. "Having two OptumServe testing sites in the county has helped us surpass the goal of conducting 800 tests or more per day. Increased testing helps us to understand the spread of COVID-19 here in Sonoma County so that we can better care for our residents, lower the spread, and safely reopen our businesses and schools."
The county as of Friday remained in the purple — or "Widespread"— tier, the most restrictive level on California's Blueprint to a Safer Economy. Many nonessential indoor business operations remain closed or can only operate outdoors or at up to 25 percent capacity until the county's metrics such as testing and case positivity rates improve.
"These testing sites are part of a multi-pronged approach to dramatically increase testing in Sonoma County," said Dr. Sundari Mase, the health officer for Sonoma County. "At maximum capacity, OptumServe sites enable the county to increase testing by 300 tests per day."
As of Friday, 195,935 tests have been conducted in the county, an increase of 1,240 tests since Thursday.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in Sonoma County since the outbreak began in March reached 8,684, an increase of 69 cases since Thursday.
There have been 128 coronavirus-related deaths in the county.
In addition to expanded contact tracing efforts to protect residents from outbreaks before they can spread, the county says community-wide testing is a critical step toward its reopening.
The relocation of this testing site to Windsor will help reach residents in the north county, including essential workers in the agriculture and farming community, the county said.
"Sites are determined based on accessibility and an evaluation of where underserved populations live based on median incomes and known disparities, to give as many residents as possible access to testing regardless of socioeconomic status," county officials said.
Testing at the OptumServe sites is open to all California residents, regardless of documentation status. Everyone is allowed to receive a test, regardless if they are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. There are no out-of-pocket costs for testing, and no driver’s license is required. If patients have insurance, their insurance providers will be billed; if they do not have insurance, they can still get a test for no cost.
The OptumServe testing sites are walk-up, not drive-thru and residents will need to park their car. Appointments are available on weekdays; specific test locations and hours will be provided when making an appointment at Lhi.care/covidtesting. Residents without internet access can call 888-634-1123 to schedule an appointment.
"These vital efforts can reduce positivity rates and protect our community during our reopening stages," the county said. "At all Sonoma County’s testing sites, residents must wear a face covering and practice social distancing."
All COVID-19 testing options in Sonoma County are posted at Socoemergency.org. Residents can also call 211 or text their ZIP code to 898-211 for resource information.