West Contra Costa Organizes Mass COVID-19 Testing Event to Slow Community Spread
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Note to Editors: Event organizers will host a media availability to discuss this event and the importance of COVID-19 testing in West Contra Costa at 7 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, in front of West County Health Center. Access to areas where patients are receiving tests or flu vaccine will be restricted, but B-roll of event setup may be available prior to 8:30 a.m.
WHEN: Public event hours: 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7
WHERE: West County Health Center, 13601 San Pablo Ave., San Pablo. Walk-up services provided in a rear parking lot, parking available in an outdoor parking structure and surrounding lots.
Communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are mobilizing for a grassroots mass testing event this weekend to help slow the spread of the virus in hard-hit West County neighborhoods.
West County's Latinx community, particularly neighborhoods in San Pablo and Richmond, faces some of the highest rates of new COVID-19 infection and testing positivity rates in Contra Costa.
To combat that trend, a coalition of community organizations led by Contra Costa County United Latino Voices, Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia and Contra Costa Health Services are kicking off a sustained community testing push on Nov. 7 at West County Health Center, 13601 San Pablo Ave. in San Pablo.
"A simple COVID test is one of the best ways to protect ourselves and our community," Gioia said. "We can move quickly to stop the virus if we know where it's spreading. We can take care of people who are already infected. When we know, we can save more lives."
The event is not a gathering or street fair. Attendees will wear face coverings and move briskly through a physically distanced line to outdoor stations where nurses and volunteers will provide no-cost COVID-19 tests and flu vaccination. Cloth masks and free groceries will also be provided for people who need them.
No appointment, insurance or payment is required. Parking is available in an outdoor garage next to the testing site.
"We know that residents of San Pablo and Richmond, especially Latinx people, suffer more from COVID-19," said Genoveva Calloway of Contra Costa County United Latino Voices. "Our goal is to empower and protect our community by bringing safe, free health resources directly to our neighbors."
San Pablo has the highest number of per-capita COVID-19 cases (adjusted for population size) in Contra Costa County, about triple the county average. Per capita, Richmond has about double the county average, and also the highest number of community deaths from COVID-19.
Convenient, no-cost testing is available to anyone who lives or works in West County not only on Nov. 7, but every weekday through Contra Costa County's community testing program. Call 1-844-421-0804 for an appointment, or schedule online at cchealth.org/coronavirus.
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