COVID, Flu Testing Sites Opening

Written by Estero Bay News

December 15, 2022

The County Health Department is setting up community testing sites as it battles an outbreak of respiratory illnesses.

On Dec. 7 the County announced it was setting up three testing sites — the Paso Robles Train Station (800 Pine St.); SLO Vet’s Hall (801 Grand Ave.); and in Grover Beach (1336 Ramona Dr.).

The sites will “offer combined rapid testing for COVID-19 and influenza for all patients who are experiencing symptoms. COVID-only testing remains available for asymptomatic patients. There is no cost to the patient for either type of test at community sites,” the County said.

County Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein said, “Finding out what virus is causing your symptoms — whether it’s COVID-19 or flu — is the first step in accessing the right treatment and guiding the steps you take to protect others from the virus. Providing this service at community sites also helps lift a weight from our local hospitals and doctor’s offices as they respond to an ongoing surge in respiratory viruses.”

What level of care the County delivers after you get tested depends on what’s ailing you. “Patients who test positive for COVID-19,” the County said, “may access Test to Treat services at the community site and take home a course of Paxlovid antiviral medication if indicated. Though Test-to-Treat services are not available for influenza, patients who test positive for flu may contact their regular healthcare provider to inform them of a positive test and ask about antiviral treatment for flu.”

Any tests given will stay on site and no take-home tests will be available, the County said.

The three sites are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but closed from 11 a.m. to noon for lunch, and 4-5 p.m. presumably for a dinner break. The Grover Beach site is also closed on Fridays.

If you have insurance the County will bill them and there’s no co-pay. There is no charge for those without insurance. The County and State have contracted with OptumServe to run the testing program.

To make an appointment, go online at: slopublichealth.org/testing.

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