Walk-up testing site in Walnut Creek, drive-through in Concord
By Ann Peterson
Contra Costa County is now offering COVID-19 testing to all residents, regardless of whether they have symptoms or the means to pay for it.
Contra Costa is the first Bay Area county to offer tests to anyone who wants one.
Residents can make an appointment to have a test at one of eight sites, including five drive-through testing sites. There are also three walk-up testing locations, including one in Walnut Creek. The nearest drive-through site is in Concord.
Tests are available only by appointment. To make an appointment, call 844-421-0804 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.
As of last week, 300 to 400 county residents were being tested daily. Contra Costa Health Services said it hopes to increase testing to about five times as many people.
Increased testing is one of the goals Contra Costa County set for easing the current stay-at-home order, which lasts until the end of this month. Previously, tests were available only to residents who had symptoms of the illness.
“We need to test many more county residents to get a better sense of how widespread COVID-19 is in our community, and to help prevent its spread,” said Candace Andersen, chair of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. “Testing will also give us a better idea of when we can relax the current health orders.”
When calling for an appointment, residents will be screened and later receive a call back from a health professional, who will schedule the appointment.
Insurance will be billed for those who have health insurance, but insurance is not required to get a test and there is no up-front cost.
While having symptoms are no longer required for tests, health officials now say a lengthy list may warrant a test. These include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle ache, sore throat, headache, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, recent loss of taste or smell, or confusion, particularly in older adults.
More information is available at https://coronavirus.cchealth.org/testing.