Testing site is for first responders, healthcare, essential service workersVallejo Times Herald, by Thomas Gase, April 8, 2020
The mood was quiet, eerie and extremely cautious at the Solano County Fairgrounds on Wednesday at a drive-through coronavirus testing site made available to first responders, health care and essential workers who live or work in Solano County.
Approximately 30 people showed up by appointment only on the first day at the testing site, organized by the Solano County Health and & Social Services-Public Health division.
The testing is prioritized for those working on the front lines during the pandemic crisis, and to help ensure that the health care system continues to have the capacity to serve the community.
Public Health Administrator, Health and Social Services Department Jayleen Richards, said that although there were only 10 people at the 9 a.m. to noon shift, they had 20 more who signed up for the 1 to 4 p.m. shift on Wednesday. The site remains open on Thursday and Friday, with only a morning shift available on Friday. The site will run again next week from Tuesday through Friday.
“We’ve had a lot of firefighters and some hospital workers show up today,” Richards said. “Not many essential workers have shown up so far. We’re thinking we’ve had enough signups for tomorrow that we’ll reach our maximum, which is 40 a day.”
Those patients showing from 2 to 3 p.m. declined to talk with the Times-Herald about the process, deciding instead to remain anonymous.
Richards said that after making an appointment by calling (707) 784-8655, the people with an appointment drive up for a process that takes about five to 10 minutes, depending on how many other cars are in front of them. The site is filled with health officials wearing masks and plenty of parking cones, the tall ones symbolizing a hot zone.
“For the most part the people who come up to get tested are pretty calm,” Solano County Public Health employee Elizabeth Gallardo said. “We just verify their appointment here at the front. They don’t ask too many questions, except when they will get results.”
The patients must show signs of either fever, cough, chills or body aches.