Evelyn: Getting Tested for Covid-19

I get tested weekly at the Native American Health Center testing site on International. The tests are provided by Color, a Burlingame-based lab and it is one of a network of testing sites created by partnerships between local health clinics and the county with the goal of limiting community spread in the area codes with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases. (The Fruitvale district has a high concentration of essential workers and has been one of the hardest hit areas in all of Alameda County.) You register online with some basic contact information and after answering a few brief demographic questions you get to pick an appointment time. They have special hours for health care workers, and an emphasis on serving essential workers, but anyone can get tested there for free. They test up to 600 people here every week! I have only had to wait in line for my test once, but typically I am in and out in under 10 minutes. I often ride my bike down there and lean it against the fence inside the parking lot during my appointment. Once my eyes stop watering from the swab, I am back on my bike and on with my day. Within 24 hours (though it can take up to 3 days) I get a text saying my results are in with a link to the page where I verify my identity before getting to see that sweet green bar and the words “Negative for SARS-Cov-2”. Sometimes getting tested weekly seems like an overabundance of caution. We adhere pretty strictly to social distancing guidelines in my household, and the only place I am really exposed to a lot people is at OAP, which is as safe as being inside with other people can be these days. But it gives me a sense of security because if I ever do get a positive test I will be able to draw the line between who I may have exposed and who I haven’t based on my last negative test result. It is a little peace of mind, which is something that is in short supply these days. 


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