Placer County Will Increase COVID-19 Testing with Two New Community Testing Sites
Published May 1, 2020, by Placer County
Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement to add more than 80 community testing sites across the state, Placer County will soon launch two testing sites, one in Kings Beach and the other in Roseville. The new testing sites will open next week. The new sites are powered through a partnership with OptumServe, the federal government health services business of Optum, a leading health services innovation company.
Testing will be by appointment only. Additional information and location details will be released when appointments become available. A third site in Grass Valley, in neighboring Nevada County, will also be able to serve nearby Placer County residents. In addition to offering diagnostic coronavirus testing to the general public, testing for health care workers, law enforcement and other first responders will be a priority.
“We’ve coordinated with our neighbors to ensure testing sites are spread out geographically. These sites will allow Placer County to dramatically increase testing for individuals who have had limited access to COVID-19 tests up until now, more than doubling our current testing capacity,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “We’re thrilled to partner with the state and OptumServe to help meet the state’s testing goals.”
Placer County is now encouraging all residents with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 – even if those symptoms are mild – to get tested, whether through a provider or through an OptumServe site, as testing capacity has grown countywide.
“As we look ahead to a phased reopening, being able to test all symptomatic persons will be critical to our ability to control the spread of COVID-19,” Sisson said. “We’ve reached sufficient testing capacity where we can begin to ramp up in preparation for this.”
To determine where to locate new testing sites, the state looked at both rural and urban areas where Californians would have to travel between 30 and 60 minutes to reach an existing testing site or hospital. That information was then evaluated based on underserved populations, to address known disparities, and median income, so residents have access to testing regardless of socioeconomic status.
OptumServe has extensive expertise in rapidly deploying and setting up health care services and has worked closely with the military under the leadership of former Army Surgeon General and retired Lieutenant General Patty Horoho, RN.
“OptumServe is honored to assist California in expanding COVID-19 testing for residents,” said Patty Horoho, CEO of OptumServe. “We are bringing our full commitment and capabilities to serve Californians, including extensive experience conducting large community health events.”
At maximum capacity, OptumServe will be able to support up to 80 testing sites at one time throughout the state, increasing total testing capacity by more than 10,500 tests per day.
OptumServe does not currently have serology tests. Serology (antibody) tests require blood draws and these sites are not conducting blood draws at this time. However, OptumServe may collect different specimen types in the future at the request of the state.
“Thanks to Placer County and to OptumServe for the collaboration to make these testing sites possible,” said Dr. Charity Dean, assistant director of the California Department of Public Health. “We’re working together as part of the state’s Testing Task Force to ensure regions with the greatest need have access to tests, and these sites are going to be a major component in reaching our testing goals.”