News Release

SBC Public Health requests additional testing capacity

Public health said the current OptumServe testing site has the capacity to perform 990 scheduled tests per week. 

Information provided by County of San Benito

San Benito County Public Health Services announced it requested additional testing capacity at the OptumServe state-sponsored testing site located at 930 Sunset Drive in Hollister.

Public health said the current OptumServe testing site has the capacity to perform 990 scheduled tests per week.

“Due to recent staffing issues, the site could no longer accommodate walk-ins,” the release said. “As staffing issues are resolved the county will advise when walk-ins are available.  Further, the county has requested a mobile testing unit operated by OptumServe and additional details are pending regarding implementation.”

The county said it was directed by the California Department of Public Health to distributed over 3,000 rapid tests to local healthcare providers, first responders and community-based organizations for immediate use and distribution. The tests are intended to be used by First responders and health care providers for their staff and patients to prevent spread in the workplace. Community-based organizations and places of worship will distribute to the community as supply allows and can be contacted directly for availability and distribution options.

In an effort to give Americans access to timely COVID-19 testing, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the U.S. Postal Service have launched COVIDtests.gov, a new site for requesting free home test kits by mail, the release said. Every address in the United States is now eligible to receive four free tests by signing up at the site, which states that orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.

​Home test kits, also known as rapid antigen tests, are available over the counter at pharmacies. While the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests provided at community clinics like OptumServe are the most accurate for detecting COVID-19, due to current demand testing results can take several days and sometimes a week or more, according to the release.

“Therefore, rapid antigen tests are the best choice for finding out quickly if someone is contagious right now,” the release said. “That is why San Benito County Public Health Services (SBCPHS) encourages every household to request test kits from www.covidtests.gov, and any other available source, to plan ahead and have it in your medicine cabinet just in case.”

The press release also included the following COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

When should I get tested?

You should get a COVID-19 test if:

  • You have new symptoms such as fatigue, headache, body/muscle aches, cough, fever, sore throat, and/or congestion.
  • You have symptoms and are at high risk for severe illness because of other medical conditions, age, or have a compromised immune system. You may qualify for treatment to reduce your risk of severe illness.

Consider getting tested if:

  • You had exposure to someone with COVID 2-5 days ago, especially if you are unvaccinated.

Given how contagious the Omicron variant is, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and cannot get tested:

  • Assume you have COVID-19 and follow isolation guidelines.
  • If members of your household are having similar symptoms, and at least one of them tests positive for COVID-19, you can assume that all members have COVID-19 and follow isolation guidelines.

Do not get a PCR test if:

  • You’ve tested positive in the last 90 days.
  • You have already tested positive with a rapid home test.
  • You need a negative test to end isolation early (for that, use a rapid home/antigen test).

I have tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection or lack of symptoms who test positive for COVID-19 must:

  • Stay home (PDF) for at least 5 days.
  • Isolation can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving or a diagnostic specimen (rapid antigen preferred) collected on day 5 or later tests negative.
  • If unable to test or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present or are resolving, isolation can end after day 10.
  • If fever is present, isolation should be continued until fever resolves.
  • If symptoms, other than fever, are not resolving continue to isolate until symptoms are resolving or until after day 10.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings.

I’m having symptoms of COVID-19.  Where should I go?

  • Contact your primary care provider to arrange for testing and directions on what to do.  If you need emergency care, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Should I go to the hospital for a COVID-19 test?

  • The Emergency Department is for people who need emergency care. Residents should NOT visit the ER for COVID testing or mild COVID symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, or body aches. Emergency room visits should be reserved for those severely ill or who have serious health concerns and require emergency care.

Where do I go to get tested / find tests?

  • The only state supported COVID-19 testing site in San Benito County is through OptumServe which is located at 930 Sunset Dr. Hollister, CA 95023.  Due to an increase in testing demand this site will be by appointment only and will not accommodate walk-ins. Appointments can be made at www.lhi.care. This testing site is operated by Logistics Health Incorporated (LHI) not Hazel Hawkins Hospital.

What does it mean if the Hollister OptumServe location does not display on the www.lhi.care website?

  • If the Hollister OptumServe clinic does not display as an option on the LHI website this means that no appointments are available for the coming weeks. Additional appointments could be available in neighboring counties. You can continue to check the LHI website for cancelations or additional local availability.

There is a new pop up COVID-19 testing unit in my area, are they legitimate?

Who should I contact if my school age child needs a COVID-19 test?

  • The state has provided COVID-19 tests to all schools. Parents should contact their children’s school principal to inquire about a COVID-19 test.

What health care providers or community-based organizations received rapid tests from San Benito County Public Health Services distribution of the state allocation?

  • Rapid tests delivered to emergency responders and health care providers are reserved for staff and patients and will not be distributed to the community. Community-based organizations and places of worship will distribute tests as supply allows and can be contacted directly about availability and distribution.
  • Places of worship partners: Aromas Bible Church, Calvary Baptist Church, Grace Bible Church, Hollister United Methodist Church, Lighthouse Full Gospel Church of Christ, Oasis Chapel, South Valley Community Church, St. Benedicts/Sacred Heart and Victory Outreach.
  • Community-based organization partners: Community Food Bank of San Benito County, San Benito County Free Library, San Juan Bautista Library, San Benito County LULAC, Youth Alliance
  • Healthcare Providers & Congregate Living Facility partners: Dr. Craig Nagareda (DDS), Dr. Marie Grageda, Dr. Marni Friedman, Dr. Silvia Morgan, Emmaus House, Hazel Hawkins Hospital, Hollister Pediatrics, Hollister Women’s Health, HOME Resource Center, Primary Care Associates, San Benito Health Foundation, SBC Migrant Camp, Whispering Pines LTCF.
  • Emergency Responders partners: Hollister Fire Department, Hollister Police Department, San Benito County Probation, San Benito County Sheriff/Jail,

Do I have to pay for a COVID-19 test?

  • No, you do not have to pay for a COVID-19 test. An insured person can get a COVID-19 test  when needed by any provider, in or out of their health plan network, at no cost. If you’re uninsured, the government pays for your test.
  • But there are some COVID-19 tests you do have to pay for: At-home test kits and some rapid result tests

What type of mask should I wear?

  • Wearing a mask is essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help prevent both you and others from getting COVID-19. This is more important than ever with new, more easily transmitted variants of COVID-19 on the rise. San Benito County Public Health strongly encourages the use of N95 or KN95 masks. While a cloth mask is better than no mask it does not provide the protection needed for the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Additional masking information can be found here.

What Else Should I Do?

  • Get everyone eligible in your family vaccinated as soon as possible, including a booster shot when eligible. Vaccination offers far more powerful and effective protection from these viruses than any testing and quarantine strategy. Adult and pediatric appointments are available at www.myturn.ca.gov. Residents should also check with health care providers and pharmacies for vaccine and booster availability.
  • Wear a mask with good fit and filtration in ALL indoor public settings (including public transportation). N95 and KN95 or surgical masks do the best job filtering out viruses.
  • Anyone feeling sick, even with mild symptoms (sore throat, cough, sniffles), should stay home, isolate from others, and get tested. Anyone confirmed positive for COVID should quarantine. Seek medical care if you experience respiratory difficulties.

Additional COVID-19 Testing Sites:
Virus Geeks: https://my.virusgeeks.com/

ARCpoint Labs Monterey-Fee Based Testing: https://www.labtestmonterey.com/

ARCpoint Labs Salinas-Fee Based Testing- https://www.labtestsalinas.com/

Monterey County Testing Sites: https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/health/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-testing-locations

Santa Cruz County Testing Sites: https://www.santacruzhealth.org/HSAHome/HSADivisions/PublicHealth/CommunicableDiseaseControl/CoronavirusHome/SAVELivesSantaCruzCounty/GetTested.aspx

Santa Clara County Testing Sites: https://covid19.sccgov.org/covid-19-testing

Merced County Testing Sites: https://www.co.merced.ca.us/3436/Testing-Locations

Kaiser Permanente COVID-19 Testing Information: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/northern-california/health-wellness/coronavirus-information/testing

Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) COVID-19 Testing Information: https://www.sutterhealth.org/for-patients/health-alerts/covid-19-faqs#category=screening-testing

Additional State vetted COVID-19 testing sites: www.covid19.ca.gov

 

BenitoLink Staff