The County of Sonoma continues to ramp up COVID-19 testing, particularly in the neighborhoods most impacted by the virus. These efforts now include two new weekly sites in Santa Rosa run by the County's Department of Health Services and the addition of two to three weekly events in the City of Sonoma administered with the help of a mobile unit operated by the testing company LHI.
The new DHS sites, at Andy's Unity Park and the Roseland Library, will be open from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, enabling residents to receive free, confidential testing, regardless of immigration status. The site at Andy's Unity Park will be open Fridays beginning January 15 and the Roseland Library site is available Mondays starting January 25. These are the first two of six planned new testing sites that the County is opening so that it can offer recurring weekly testing events in targeted neighborhoods.
Residents are encouraged to make appointments by going through the County's online scheduler or by calling (707) 565-4667. Please note that these sites are focused on testing essential workers and neighborhood members, and bilingual, bicultural staff will be on-hand to support residents.
"These new testing opportunities allow us to greatly expand testing throughout the County at a critical point in our efforts to mitigate COVID-19. In particular, the new DHS-run sites allow us to provide bilingual, bicultural testing to neighborhoods where many of our essential workers and those without access to health care live," said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. "Extensive, county-wide testing allows us to identify cases and provide isolation support to stop the spread of the virus."
An LHI mobile unit also will provide the County a much-needed presence in the Sonoma Valley. It will be located at the Sonoma Veteran's Memorial Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The schedule will change weekly based on the availability of the bus. For example, the first week it will be open January 14, 15, and 16, while the next week it will be available January 21 and 22. Please see the pop-up testing calendar for all available dates.
The LHI Mobile Bus is a passenger bus converted to medical use by a private company in Merced, Storer Test Express. LHI staff administer tests from inside the bus, limiting health care worker and patient exposure. It is under contract with OptumServe/LHI to provide these services. Schedule these appointments by calling (888) 634-1123 or online at the LHI COVID-19 Testing website.
These testing opportunities will increase Sonoma County's already high levels of testing at a critical juncture. Overall, there are more than 3,000 tests conducted each day in the County with an average of 676 daily tests per 100,000 residents. This testing volume is almost double the state average of 362 tests per 100,000. This high volume of testing helps the County in the long run as it allows the state to adjust Sonoma County's case rate by nearly half, an important pathway to reopening once the Stay-Home Order is lifted.
The County has worked with its partners to provide many of these testing opportunities to County residents. The three OptumServe sites in Windsor, Santa Rosa, and Petaluma provide 1,150 tests per day. Each of the six weekly sites operated by our Federally Qualified Health Center partners produces about 200 daily tests. The new DHS pop-up sites will add 500 tests for those in impacted neighborhoods, while the LHI Mobile Bus will supply an additional 528 tests each day.
While waiting for the widespread rollout of vaccines, testing remains a critical tool for identifying, isolating, and treating new cases. In addition, residents must continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. This is especially important 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.