EXCLUSIVE: Fremont extending novel coronavirus testing site for another week

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- The city of Fremont will extend its novel coronavirus test site until May 3 to allow more people to get tested for the virus.

The tests are free to the public and available to anyone regardless of where they reside or their immigration status.

Fremont's drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opened on April 3. It's located at the Fremont Fire Tactical Training Center at 7200 Stevenson Blvd. and made possible by $500,000 set aside by Fremont's city manager.

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Initially, the site was budgeted for three weeks of operation, but thanks to cost-saving measures put in place after its first week, the city is able to purchase more tests and extend the site's operation by an additional week.

"We were able to, after our first week, scale things back a little bit as far as the infrastructure that was needed. But still be able to provide the service to the same number of customers," said Fremont Fire Chief Curtis Jacobson. "We're able to reduce our costs. And because of that, we were able to purchase some more tests and extend for another week."

Chief Jacobson said, on average, the testing site continues to see between 100 to 150 patients looking to get tested daily.

From the period of April 10 to April 16, the city reports 882 people showed up for testing -- 114 of those were screened out due to lack of symptoms and 768 tests were processed.

Nearly half of those tested, 314 in one week, were essential services workers, primarily first responders.

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Chief Jacobson said testing frontline workers with direct exposure to the virus has always been a top priority.

"Through the unions and through the other associations, through police and fire and healthcare workers, we've been able to service a great deal of their personnel," he said.

The drive-thru testing site runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily or until the available number of test for the day is used. You do not need a doctor's note in order to get a test. You do have to be showing COVID-19 symptoms, however.

Anyone unable to drive to the Stevenson Blvd site is welcomed to schedule a walk-up appointment at the Tri-City Health Center at 39500 Liberty Street. You must call ahead to the health center's appointment line at (510) 252-6808. Walk-up appointments are available Monday through Friday on a limited first come, first served basis, from 1 p.m. until all of the afternoon appointment slots have been filled.

First responders and healthcare workers who are symptomatic for the COVID-19 virus and have (or have had) a fever can schedule an appointment for a test in advance by calling (510) 789-7231.



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