Starting this week, certain individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms will be able to get tested, thanks to new efforts to broaden access by San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and Stanford Health Care.
Santa Clara County has expanded its testing eligibility with an eye on reaching its goal of 4,000 tests per day by May 31. The program will focus on hotspots in parts of Mountain View, San Jose and southern parts of the county, Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, head of the county's new COVID-19 testing task force, said at the Board of Supervisors Health and Hospital Committee meeting on Thursday.
People who are first responders, health care workers, or who work at essential services such as grocery stores, restaurants, food services, utilities services, or other jobs requiring frequent contact with the public can receive the free tests even if they have no symptoms.
The tests are also available to individuals who are scheduled for surgery or a medical procedure and those who have any symptoms of COVID-19.
The tests are available by appointment at sccgov.org/cv19testing.
San Mateo County announced May 14 that it will begin providing free COVID-19 testing for anyone who wants to be tested, by appointment, starting Monday, May 18.
San Mateo County will also be expanding its testing services to two new sites operated by Verily, in addition to the current site at the San Mateo County Event Center. Each site will be open for testing two days each week between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
On Fridays and Saturdays, tests will be offered at the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA at 556 Bell St. in East Palo Alto, the county's press release stated.
According to an announcement from the city of East Palo Alto, the testing is free and will be available to all, including undocumented residents. It will be administered to people who drive up or walk up, and language support will be available.
People can make an appointment through Verily's Project Baseline website here. Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, is a subsidiary of Alphabet.
People who don't have a way to get to the testing sites can call 650-779-9375 for free transportation provided by the county.
Within San Mateo County, there needs to be about 1,200 tests per day administered in hospitals, private testing companies and the county's free program to meet state guidelines for reopening.
Essential worker testing
Stanford Health Care has opened testing for COVID-19 to symptomatic and asymptomatic first responders and essential workers, a medical center spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday. The testing covers employees of grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants or other businesses remaining open to provide services to the community.
Stanford started the swab tests on Wednesday. Testing will be available at the Galvez lot on the Stanford campus, but appointments are required. They can be made through a video visit on Stanford Health Care's My Health website or the MyHealth mobile app by selecting "appointments"; by registering here or by calling 650-498-9000.
The numbers of tests offered will be evaluated on a weekly basis and is based on availability of supplies. This week, Stanford Health Care is able to perform a total of 2,500 tests at its six outpatient sites, according to the organization.
For more information about testing opportunities in Santa Clara County, see the interactive map on the Public Health Department website.
Find comprehensive coverage of the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.