Novel Coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control.
Novel Coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control.

With everything happening with the coronavirus pandemic, we at BenitoLink want to provide a roundup of recent articles, as well as closures and cancellations happening in San Benito County.

As of 4:47 p.m. on July 31, 622 people in San Benito County have tested positive for the coronavirus since February, with 8,731 people tested in total. Fifty-five are active patients, 563 have recovered and four have died. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.

Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.

Recent Articles

HSD board receives report on distance learning plans—District providing 3,500 laptops and over 1,000 hotspots for internet access.

Congressman Panetta co-introduces bipartisan legislation to preserve agricultural fairs—If approved, the legislation would provide $500 million in grant funding.


Information from San Benito County Public Health Services:

Updated Questions and Answers about OptumServe

Update July 28, 2020 Since May 05, 2020.

OptumServe and Logistics Health Incorporated in partnership with the State and County health departments, has operated a COVID-19 testing site at the Veterans Memorial Building located at 649 San Benito Street, Hollister. The testing site remains open for COVID-19 testing by appointment from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, closed on Fridays and Saturdays. The testing end date is tentatively set as August 31, 2020.

The following are frequently asked questions:

Q: How are appointments made?

A: Appointments are made by visiting the Logistics Health Incorporated website at or by calling 888-634-1124. Representatives speak many languages including Spanish.

Q: When I try to make an appointment, all the appointment times are taken for days and sometimes longer. What should I do?

A: If you have symptoms such as:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

You should call your health care provider and seek medical guidance. If you do not have a medical provider, you can call your local hospital to speak with a nurse or screener to determine if you can be seen for a medical assessment and possible COVID-19 test. You can also call the Medi-Nurse line at 877-409-9052 which is in English and Spanish. If you have no symptoms or a few mild symptoms, call your doctor or the Medi-Nurse line above to discuss your options.

Q: I had an appointment and went to the Hollister test site and it was closed. Why?

A: The Hollister test site can swab/test up to 132 people a day. Sometimes, COVID-19 testing supplies run out because of the high volume of people that are being tested. When this happens, the site may have to temporarily close while the site staff travels OptumServe COVID-19 Testing to a regional office to get more supplies. San Benito County Public Health Services is working with the site to prevent closures from happening, but there are testing supply shortages occurring all over the nation and sometimes site closure is unavoidable. Keep your registration number and return to the testing site on the same day if possible. If not possible, reschedule a new appointment.

Q: Does the Hollister site at Veterans Hall test for antibodies?

A: No, the Hollister Veterans Hall testing site does not test for antibodies. It tests only for active virus infection.

Q: How many times can I get tested?

A: The Veterans Hall test site does not have a limit on how many times a person may get tested. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states for persons who previously tested positive for COVID-19, repeat testing is not recommended until after 3 months from the date a person was cleared from isolation.

Q: It is taking forever for me to get my test results. Why?

A: The test site collects specimens and then sends them to laboratories for processing. Because of the high volume of tests, and the time it takes to process the tests, the laboratories are backed-up and cannot process the tests quickly. Throughout the State of California, the average LHI turn-around time for test results is 5-10 days.

Q: What should I do if I am sick and do not have my results?

A: Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Isolate yourself from others you live with. Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. You can take over-the-counter medicines, such as fever and pain reducing medications, to help you feel better. Stay in touch with your doctor. Call your doctor before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency. Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing such as Uber, Lyft or taxis. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website self-checker to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care. Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Constant pain or pressure in the chest.
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

These are not all the possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider or 911 for help if you or someone you are caring for has these symptoms. OptumServe COVID-19 Testing.

Q: Are there other test sites in the area?

A: Currently, the only other test site in Hollister is Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital. You can call 831-637-5711 and ask them if you can schedule a COVID-19 test. You will be asked a series of questions and they will help determine your need for testing. There are pop-up test sites outside San Benito County for all ages and some do not require appointments. You can find a list of sites here. Some private medical providers in Hollister are conducting COVID-19 tests for their patients in their private offices. Please call your medical provider to determine if he or she is one of them.

Q: Do I need a negative test to return to work or to my normal activities?

A: No. In most cases, the COVID-19 virus becomes less potent and no longer infectious in the body after 10 days since symptoms began. A person could test positive for 3 months or longer but is not infectious after 10 days since symptoms began. You should discuss your situation with your doctor, a nurse or a representative from your local health department to help you understand your disease process.


The State has several hotlines for residents to call for suicide prevention, abuse, and mental health.

Link to resources

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, helps protect workers from health and safety hazards in almost every workplace in California.

Visit Cal/OSHA for information about workplace safety and health.

File a confidential workplace safety complaint.

File a whistleblower complaint if you suffer retaliation for reporting a workplace safety hazard

Obtain free consultation services from Cal/OSHA.

Contact Cal/OSHA at 844-522-6734.

State and federal elected officials’ COVID-19 web pages.

Jimmy Panetta

Anna Caballero

Robert Rivas

Kamala Harris

Diane Feinstein

State of California:


San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency/Coronavirus


Meals for seniors.

Food Distribution Community Food Bank

Drive-thru service at the marketplace Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 1133 San Felipe Rd. Hollister Sign-ups for supplemental food are done by phone 831-637-0340.

Food Distribution Salvation Army Drive-thru service Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. 910 Buena Vista Rd. Hollister Sign-ups not required To schedule delivery call 310-753-6520.

Public Assistance CalFresh/Medi-Cal/Cash Aid/GA

apply online at


Unemployment Insurance Benefits Employment Development Department

apply online at


Senior Services Delivery of essential items and food City of Hollister and Jovenes de Antano


Disability/Paid Family Leave Employment Development Department

apply online at


United Way of San Benito County 2-1-1 Text your Zip Code to 831-898-211 or call 211 Text COVID2019 to 211211

Tips for avoiding COVID-19                      

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Keep a minimum of a six feet physical distance from others.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Stay at home. Only leave to take care of essential errands.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze.
  • Cover your face (mouth and nose) with protective covering when in public
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects.
  • If you think you might be infected call your health care professional and follow their directions.


BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website that reports on San Benito County. Our team is working around the clock during this time when accurate information is essential. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please consider supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s news.