Santa Rosa, CA – December 8, 2020 – As part of Sonoma County's efforts to increase testing opportunities for residents, the County is partnering with state officials to open a COVID-19 testing site in Petaluma on Thursday, Dec. 10. The new site, which will open at Herzog Hall at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, will be the third site in the County operated by OptumServe, a federal health services business under contract with the state to provide free COVID-19 testing for California communities.
"Extensive, county-wide testing is a critical step toward re-opening the County because it allows us to identify cases and provide isolation support to stop the spread of the virus," said Supervisor Susan Gorin, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. "When we do things like getting tested for COVID-19, wearing face masks, and practicing social distancing it helps us get through this pandemic and re-open faster and safer."
"The County advocated for the State to create a third testing site in Sonoma County in Petaluma to create easier access to testing for south county residents," stated Supervisor David Rabbitt. "The zip code that extends from Boyes Hot Springs to Sears Point lands in the top five zip codes with the highest active case rate in Sonoma County, while western Petaluma falls into the top 10 zip codes. This testing site will help slow transmission in the south county area, helping residents detect cases early so they can isolate and slow the spread."
The center, which will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., will provide up to 330 opportunities a day for residents in south County to access free COVID-19 testing. On Thursday, Dec. 10, the site will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Until this week, OptumServe had been operating two testing sites in the County - one at the Jockey Club at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds and the other at the Windsor Bluebird Community Center in Windsor, which have combined to provide up to 660 COVID-19 tests per day.
In addition to the opening of the new OptumServe site in Petaluma, the Fairgrounds site in Santa Rosa this week expanded its testing capabilities by 50 percent. Combined, testing opportunities at OptumServe sites in the County will now exceed 1150 per day.
Testing at the OptumServe sites is open to all California residents regardless of documentation status, and no identification is required. Everyone is allowed to receive a test, whether or not they are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Appointments are available on weekdays and can be made at https://lhi.care/covidtesting. Residents without internet access may call +1(888) 634-1123 to make an appointment. Tests are free to the public. If individuals have insurance, their insurance providers will be billed. If individuals do not have insurance, they can still get a test.
Sonoma County has prioritized COVID-19 testing since the beginning of the pandemic, with the region performing more than 300,000 tests since April 7, 2020. The State requires that counties be able to test at least 1.5 per 1,000 people daily. In Sonoma County, this requires us to test at least 750 people per day. With the expansion of testing sites throughout the region, the County is now testing twice that number, with an average of 1,600 tests per day including pop-up sites and other opportunities.
The County of Sonoma's expanded COVID-19 testing program now includes:
- Three OptumServe sites
- An additional State partnership testing facility (Project Baseline) at Rite-Aid in Santa Rosa
- A targeted community pop-up testing program at more than 10 sites throughout the County
- Contact tracing testing for close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients
- A mobile unit activated for additional testing at designated locations each week, based on public health needs
Residents must wear a face covering and practice social distancing at all Sonoma County's testing sites. Visit socoemergency.org/test to find out more about COVID-19 testing options. Residents can also call 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 898-211 for resource information. For additional updates, follow Sonoma County on Facebook and Twitter at @CountyOfSonoma.