Free rapid coronavirus result testing launches at Oakland International Airport

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ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Oakland airport launches free COVID-19 testing
Oakland International Airport is launching its free rapid result COVID-19 testing program for employees and travelers today.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A new COVID-19 test site opened Tuesday morning at the Oakland Airport. The test is free and is available to airport employees and travelers.

"We're offering this with no out of pocket expense for travelers and the reason for this is about keeping our airport workers and the traveling public safe," said airport spokesperson Robert Bernardo.

One of the first in line at the new test site Tuesday was the county's undersheriff, whose deputies handle security at the airport. He hopes his staff will take advantage of this free test site.

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"Our deputies are out working in the streets, working in the jails, in the courts, they're around a lot of people. Being able to get tested on a regular basis will give us all peace of mind," said Undersheriff Rich Lucia.

The results come back in 15 minutes but officials recommend travelers get tested at least one day before their flight.

"You want to allow enough time because what if the test is positive? You want to be able to give yourself opportunity to change flights, change travel plans, go to your doctor," Bernardo said.

"If they wait for the day of departure, they should arrive 3 hours before departure to get tested, get the results and then allow enough time to check in for flight," he explained.

The test is free, quite a contrast to the tests being offered at San Francisco's airport by United Airlines for $250. Oakland officials say they wanted to make testing available for everyone and partnered with City Health to make that happen.

"City Health gets grants through the CARES Act so there is federal funding involved in this. That funding is being used to help everyone get tested," Bernardo said.

The test site is located at 9070 Earhart Road, about two miles from the airport. Officials say you need to make an appointment before arriving.

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