Santa Clara County announced on Monday that it is launching or expanding six new test locations for free COVID-19 tests. The locations were chosen based on data showing a higher incidence of infection in these areas, the county said in a statement.
"The County is bringing testing capacity to where it's needed. Please take advantage of this opportunity to get tested in your neighborhood: it's fast, free and you don’t need insurance," Cindy Chavez, president of the county Board of Supervisors, said in a May 25 statement.
The county has also set parameters for how often people should be tested. Essential workers with regular interaction with the public should be tested now and once every month thereafter. People in this group include grocery store clerks, food delivery workers, retail associates, first responders and many other types of workers. The county recommends that these frontline workers get tested even if they have no symptoms at all. People can also be tested through their regular doctor.
The county and city of Mountain View launched mobile testing services this week at Rengstorff Park, one of the areas of highest need, according to Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga.
The public can walk up to the site and receive a test without an appointment. Insurance and a doctor’s note are not required.
Here's a schedule for the county's pop-up test sites:
• Monday, May 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Wednesday, May 27, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Rengstorff Park Pool Area, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View.
• Friday, May 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at La Placita Tropicana Shopping Center parking lot, 1630 Story Road, San Jose.
Drive-thru test sites are available daily at four existing county health system locations in Milpitas, Morgan Hill and San Jose.
The public can visit the sites by making an appointment online through sccfreetest.org or over the phone at 888-334-1000.
Drive-thru sites are located at:
• 1325 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas (location subject to change).
• 18550 De Paul Drive, Morgan Hill.
• 777. E Santa Clara St., San Jose.
• 1993 McKee Road, San Jose.
With the addition of these six sites, there are now at least 46 sites throughout the county offering COVID-19 viral detection testing. All new and expanded test sites and additional sites operated by other organizations are mapped on the county's website. The site is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Tagalog. Information is also available by calling 211.
San Mateo County houses homeless through state funds
Ninety homeless people considered at high risk have been sheltered at a San Mateo County hotel as part of the county's efforts to stem the spread of novel coronavirus among vulnerable populations.
The county project known as Bayfront Station leases a block of rooms at an undisclosed hotel in the county for homeless people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms, but are categorized as high risk under federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The county has been granted $750,000 in funding from the California Department of Social Services as part of Project Roomkey, a statewide initiative by Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide non-congregate shelter to high-risk homeless people during the pandemic.
"The County of San Mateo is committed to offering and expanding shelter and housing to our homeless residents who want it," County Manager Mike Callagy said in a statement issued Thursday. "We are grateful of this funding from the state to support the mission of Project Roomkey and the county's commitment to protecting the entire community while we are required to shelter in place."
People placed in the rooms are expected to stay as long as the shelter order remains active and are expected to observe safety protocols such as physical distancing and wearing face coverings when needed.
Occupants are provided with three meals a day, the same as the county provides for those in its shelter program.
Bayfront Station is staffed through a contract with Samaritan House, a nonprofit organization that provides safety net services to low income residents of the county.
"This critical funding will allow our partnership with Samaritan House and the hotel operator to continue moving forward during this crisis," said county Human Services Agency Director Ken Cole.
The county said another portion of the Project Roomkey funds could be used to expand shelter capacity and implement additional protocols at facilities, as well as conduct outreach to those who remain unsheltered.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
As of Monday, San Mateo County reported 1,904 cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 82 deaths. Fifty-two people are hospitalized as of Sunday.
On Monday, Santa Clara County had 36 new cases, totaling 2,652, and 54 people hospitalized. There was no change to the county's total number of deaths, which remains at 139.
Newsom announces statewide COVID-19 contact tracing campaign
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced the launch of a public awareness campaign for the state's COVID-19 case investigation program.
The state launched a partnership with the University of California at San Francisco and UCLA earlier this month to begin training thousands of coronavirus contact tracers that will attempt to limit the spread of the virus in real time.
The "California Connected" public awareness campaign — which will include radio and social media ads, billboards and videos in multiple languages — is intended to get state residents to "answer the call" when their local public health department reaches out to recruit them as a contact tracer, according to Newsom.
"That simple action of answering the call could save lives and help keep our families and communities healthy," Newsom said.
Newsom has said the state hopes to train roughly 20,000 contact tracers by the first week of July through the partnership program and disperse them throughout the state's 58 counties. The state has received some $5.1 million in private financial support to spur the California Connected campaign and reach the 20,000-tracer goal.
The state's 58 counties and three cities with separate health departments have roughly 3,000 contact tracers already in the field, according to Newsom. More than 500 have already been trained through the state's program as well, with another 300 scheduled to complete the 20-hour training course this week.
"We are bringing together the best minds in public health, academia and private industry to design a program that can help lower the risk for COVID-19 in all of our communities and keep us on the path to reopening," California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell said.
Information on the state's contact tracing program can be found at covid19.ca.gov/contact-tracing.
Read the latest local COVID-19 news in coronavirus central.
Find comprehensive coverage of the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.