The COVID-19 regional testing site at the Alameda County Fairgrounds will be introducing new criteria to determine residents eligible to receive the assessment, effective Monday morning.
The testing site will remain open to symptomatic residents and those who have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, but now asymptomatic residents must fall into specific job- or health-related categories in order to qualify as well as a caveat that people with pre-existing health conditions or older age (but asymptomatic) are no longer on the eligible list for testing like they had been before.
As always, they must be a resident of Pleasanton, Dublin or Livermore and 10 years old or older.
"Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare will be following the new testing criteria at the Regional COVID-19 Testing Site in accordance with the California Department of Public Health and Alameda County Public Health Department's updated testing guidelines," Pleasanton city officials said over the weekend.
The program, which opened on April 27 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is a partnership among the three cities, Stanford-ValleyCare and the fairgrounds.
Currently, the site is operational from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays through Fridays with a testing capacity of 240 per day (1,200 tests per week). No appointment or physician referral is needed, and there are no out-of-pocket expenses onsite.
There were 11,524 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 189 deaths related to the virus countywide through Saturday, according to ACPHD data. Of those positive cases, 505 were in Livermore, 230 in Pleasanton and 131 in Dublin.
For those interested in a COVID-19 test at the fairgrounds, Stanford-ValleyCare officials describe COVID-19 symptoms as including fever, chills or repeated shaking; cough or sore throat; shortness of breath; loss of taste or smell; muscle pain; headache; runny or congested nose; diarrhea; or nausea and vomiting.
No longer on the testing-eligible list, in line with state guidelines, are asymptomatic people who were previously eligible due to age or a chronic health condition, according to Pleasanton city officials.
Previously, anyone 65 years old or older could get a test without symptoms, as could a pregnant person or a patient with a blood disorder, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, compromised immune system, or heart, lung or neurological disease.
Effective Monday, asymptomatic residents must fall into one of these categories, according to Stanford-ValleyCare officials:
1. Live in higher risk congregate care facilities including skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly, correctional facilities, or homeless shelters.
2. Work in the health care sector who have frequent interactions with the public or with people who may have COVID-19 or have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The health care sector includes: hospitals; skilled nursing facilities; long-term care facilities; ambulatory surgery centers; health care providers' offices; health care clinics; pharmacies; blood banks; dialysis centers; hospices; and, home health providers
3. Work in a congregate care facility, including shelters for people experiencing homelessness and residential care facilities for the elderly.
4. Provide care to an elderly person or a person with a disability in the home, including a person providing care through California's In-Home Supportive Services Program.
5. Work in the emergency services sector who have frequent interactions with the public or with people who may have COVID-19 or have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The emergency services sector includes police and public safety departments, fire departments, and emergency service response operations.
6. Work in a correctional facility.
7. Patients requiring pre-operative/pre-hospital admission screening.
8. Patients being discharged from hospitals to lower levels of care.
Also eligible are asymptomatic residents who work in one of the following sectors who have frequent interactions with the public or who work in an environment where it is not practical to maintain at least six feet of space from other workers on a consistent basis:
1. Individuals who work in the retail or manufacturing sectors
2. Individuals who work in the food services sector including grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, and grocery or meal delivery services.
3. Individuals who work in the agricultural or food manufacturing sector including food production and processing facilities, slaughter facilities, harvesting sites or facilities, and food packing facilities.
4. Individuals who work in the public transportation sector including public transit, passenger rail service, passenger ferry service, public airports, and commercial airlines.
5. Individuals who work in the education sector including public and private childcare establishments, pre-kindergarten programs, primary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities.
As in the past, all insurances are accepted and will be billed, but there will be no out-of-pocket costs. Those without insurance will have the cost of testing waived, and cash pay fees are waived, officials said.
Test results may take up to 72 hours, but may be available sooner. Patients will need to provide a phone number or email address to receive results and follow-up information.
Enter through the fairgrounds Gate 12 located off Valley Avenue. Signage will direct drivers. Other signage will also be posted outside the gate if the day's testing capacity is reached before noon.