Fremont opens a free COVID-19 test center Friday morning

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FREMONT – Fremont opens a free COVID-19 test center on Friday, following a similar model launched at Hayward last week, officials said.

Avellino Labs, a private biotechnology company based in Menlo Park, will supply and process the test kits, while Fremont will host the tests at its fire department tactical training center in the west end of town. 7200 Stevenson Blvd.

Fremont Fire Chief Curtis Jacobson said the city’s test site is open to everyone regardless of immigration status, and will prioritize testing on people on the front lines of the public safety and health care, including police, fire and paramedics, health professionals and caregivers.

“We are trying to keep caregivers coming in and out of people’s homes, or providing care in homes for the aged or in hospitals, offering them the opportunity to get tested so that they do not bring anything home. from work or bring something. from home in their workspace, “said Jacobson.

Anyone seeking to be tested at the Fremont site must have a fever of at least 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and should be screened for other symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, to determine if they will be tested. said officials. .

“We can’t test everyone, we just don’t have this ability,” said Jacobson.

He said the center will be able to perform around 100 tests a day maximum. It will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day or until the end of the tests, for three weeks, he said.

At the moment, the center will only accept people driving by car, but Jacobson said the city is working with a local health care provider to help set up another test site for people who have not no car or can’t get to the center.

“We have a lot of people who are worried and worried in our community. Coronavirus is on everyone’s mind, “said Fremont city councilor Raj Salwan on Thursday.

“I think being able to take the tests in our community will be very comfortable,” said Salwan. “And if they have it, you can tell them,” Isolate yourself, you have a coronavirus, “said Salwan.

The Fremont center will go online just after the number of cases of coronavirus in California has exceeded 10,000 Thursday morning, according to data compiled by this news agency.

Jacobson said the Fremont firefighters helped for a week at the Hayward Fire Department’s free trial site and learned some of the protocols there.

“While we were gathering information from Hayward Fire, I proposed the idea to our mayor and our city councilor and city manager, and they thought it was a great idea to provide the service,” said Jacobson .

When it opened last Monday, the Hayward testing site was the first of its kind in the Bay Area, allowing anyone who has passed the screening threshold to have a free test without a doctor’s recommendation.

Fremont follows closely, the center representing one of the few places in the state where governments partner with commercial companies to offer expanded testing options to people who may not be able to obtain one from a supplier health care.

Similar to Hayward, the city manager of Fremont approved the spending of nearly $ 500,000 in city money to pay for testing and operating the center, and Jacobson said the city expects to be reimbursed by state and federal disaster relief funds.

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