More than 130 additional individuals living in both Yuba and Sutter counties will be tested for COVID-19 each weekday thanks to a new community testing site set to open Monday, May 4, 2020 in Yuba City. The site will increase testing capacity in Yuba-Sutter 600 percent, and will identify more existing cases in the community.
The new site is among the first of 80 new testing sites across California recently announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom in partnership with OptumServe, a leading health services company.
The testing site will be located at the Sutter County Veterans Hall on 1425 Veterans Memorial Circle in Yuba City, testing will be by appointment only through an online portal or toll-free phone number. No walk-in testing will be allowed.
Persons who would like to be tested will need to register online. An online registration system managed by OptumServe will be activated Saturday, for those seeking to be tested for COVID-19. A toll-free phone number for residents without Internet service will also be available at that time. The registration website link and the toll-free number will be posted on both county websites – BePreparedYuba.org and BePreparedSutter.org – beginning Saturday.
“The limited number of available testing kits in our area since testing first began in early March has made it difficult to gain a clear picture of COVID-19 infections in our region, so we appreciate the state choosing us for expanded testing,” Yuba-Sutter Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said. “As we increase the capacity to test more people in the region, our residents can expect to see the number of COVID-19 cases rise. That will not mean a surge in cases, it will simply mean we are identifying more of the cases that we knew already exist here.”
Dr. Luu said each confirmed case requires contact tracing. Additional public health staff from both Yuba and Sutter counties are currently completing training, in order to address the expected increase in the number of positive cases that need to be tracked, as well as those who are contacts of positive cases.
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The Yuba-Sutter site was selected following a statewide review of both rural and urban areas where Californians would have to travel between 30 and 60 minutes to reach an existing testing site or hospital. The socioeconomic status of communities were considered in determining which regions would get the testing sites.
“OptumServe is honored to assist California in expanding COVID-19 testing for residents,” said Patty Horoho, CEO of OptumServe. “We are bringing our full commitment and capabilities to serve Californians, including extensive experience conducting large community health events.”
At maximum capacity, OptumServe will be able to support up to 80 testing sites at one time throughout the state, increasing total testing capacity by more than 10,500 tests per day.
“Thanks to Yuba and Sutter counties and to OptumServe, for the collaboration to make these testing sites possible,” said Charity Dean, M.D., Assistant Director of the California Department of Public Health. “We’re working together as part of the state’s Testing Task Force to ensure regions with the greatest need have access to tests, and these sites are going to be a major component in reaching our testing goals.”